Amber Croft – Cat of Nine Tales
Tale 2 Chapter 1 Kat Kung Fu
It was a lifetime ago, my third as a matter of fact. I’m on my fifth life now; four more to go. But that’s another story. This one is from China. I was the Master Kat at Shaolin Temple. My students called me, ‘Paw of Death,’ but I was really very kind. A teacher must be strict or lessons will be lost, and lost lessons mean lost battles.
I remember one of my most difficult students, Buckminster of Beijing. He meant well, but had only modest skills and receiving instruction was not one of them. He was not, how should I say it . . . clever.
We were in the courtyard where I was attempting to teach him Kung Fu Black Tiger Fist. He had managed to understand a bit of the Springing Legs style, but Tiger Claw was beyond him.
“I don’t see why I have to learn this,” he complained. “It’s so much trouble, and hard to do.”
“Life is always trouble, Grasshopper. Also hard to do. You must not dishonor venerable ancestors with lazy behavior.”
“But, I’m perfectly able to take care of myself, sifu.”
“Your courage is like that of young kat at dentist—most evident after tooth extracted,” I said as I stroked my fine white beard bemusedly. Such fools some felines be.