The Legend of the Zodiac Animals

The Zodiac Animals are a legend. They are the animals that, through time, became a way to tell your age. Here is their story.

The Legend of the Zodiac Animals

People in China wanted a better way of telling time by years.
One day, the Emperor of the Heavens took heed of their wants of a new way to calculate years and therefore decided to hold a race for all the animals inhabiting the world. The race would be over land, but competitors would have to cross a river. The first twelve racers to reach the finish line would have their names put in a new 12 year calendar.

All the animals were excited, even the ones unlikely to succeed, such as the mouse.

On the day of the race, the mouse, the cat, and the ox agreed to help each other. The wily mouse knew this was his only chance to come first place. As the race began, the cat and mouse, whom were friends, sat on the ox, who carried them. They gained an early lead, and were winning.

Then, the river came into view: a mass of water. The cat, who couldn’t swim, cowered in sight of it but the ox kept going unfazed.


The ox went into the river, wading through. As it got closer to the riverbank, the mouse saw his opportunity. Taken by lust and greed, he betrayed the friendship he had created. With one push, he sent the cat tumbling away and jumped, crossing the finish line before the ox.
Therefore, the order of the 12 year timeline would be: mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and finally, the boar. The cat never made it to the top twelve.

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