Calabash Cat and His Amazing Journey

May 8, 2017

I'm not even sure why he's made out of a gourd.


There is a calabash cat, which is apparently a cat made out of a gourd, and he lives in the middle of Africa. It says, "One day, he set off down the road to see where the world ended." And so he just keeps walking, and goes, "Hmm, maybe this is where the world ends," when he stops. And different animals come by and say, "No, no, no, this isn't where the world ends," and take him somewhere else and say, "Here's where the world ends." And then another animal comes by and says, "No, no, no, they're wrong, let me show you, here's where the world ends." And eventually an eagle comes and says, "Everybody else is an idiot, let me show you." He puts him on his back, they fly up in the air, and the cat realizes that the world is really big. And then he goes home. The end.

Okay. Cause everybody's world is really small. Yeah? We do all have locations that we tend to stay in. I think it's trying to say that if you always stay in the same place local to you, you'll never realize how big the world actually is. But it kind of requires a little bit of mental gymnastics to get to that point. Because it basically ends up with the message of, "Everybody is an idiot." It just seems kind of strange that there's no real summation at the end of the book. The eagle just magically shows him everything. But then what? What does the cat think about that? It doesn't even suggest that he might have some kind of thought about flying over the world. I suppose you could ask the child or your audience about that, but it's really left to the reader. It's okay, but not terribly interesting, and doesn't seem to have a point. The illustrations are interesting; ink drawings on paper done to evoke the type of traditional art from Chad burned with a hot iron onto calabash gourds.


Everybody is confined by their own horizons.

Publication Year
  • 2003
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