CEBU, Philippines - Once upon a time two cats found a piece of cheese and cut it into two pieces. But one piece was slightly bigger than the other. And both the cats wanted the bigger piece. They started to quarrel with each other for the bigger piece of cheese.
A monkey sitting on the branch of the tree had watched all that happened between the two cats. "That piece of cheese looks good. I may be able to do something myself," he thought. Slowly he came down from the tree and walked up to the quarreling cats.
"Oh, my dear friends! Can I help you?" asked the monkey. The cats told the monkey what the problem was. One of the cats said, “Hey, why don’t you be the judge between us?" The monkey chuckled and then nodded, “So what do I need to do here?”
"Please divide this cheese equally for us, so our quarreling will end,” the cats replied in unison.
The monkey thought for a while and then said, "Don't worry. I'll make both the pieces equal.”
Then the monkey took a bite from the bigger piece. The bite was a little bit too much such that the smaller piece of cheese now looked larger. So the monkey took a bite from the other piece. The biting from both cheese pieces continued for a while, until the pieces became very small.
Seeing this, the cats were alarmed and moved forward, "Sir! We are okay now. Please, let us have the cheese."
The monkey quickly replied, "No, the little pieces that remain belong to me. These are my fee for sorting out your problem.” Having said this, the shrewd monkey gobbled up the remaining cheese.
Well filled up, the monkey jumped back onto the tree and was gone.
The two cats looked at each other remorsefully. One of them said, "If only we had not quarreled among ourselves, we wouldn’t have needed the services of the monkey.” “And wouldn’t be hungry now," said the other. Wearily, the cats started on their way home.