The Great Race


According to my informant the folk story of the Great Race goes as follow: Currently there are twelve zodiac animals. This race was to choose which twelve animals would be used to represent the zodiac signs. Out of all of the animals in the race the cat and the rat were the worst swimmers, however they were smart. . There was a meeting which all of the animals needed to attend, and the order in which they arrived would associate each animal with a specific year.  The cat and the rat thought the most efficient, and fastest way to make it across the river was to get on the back on an Ox. While they were crossing the river the rat pushed the cat off of the Ox’s back, causing the cat to fall into the river. The cat jumped ahead and reached the shore first. The rat ended up tricking the cat during the race. Therefore, the twelve animals that comprise the zodiac signs do not include a cat.