Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)
Jacobs 76. The Cat-Maiden (Perry 50)
The gods were once disputing whether it was possible for a living being
to change its nature. Jupiter said "Yes," but Venus said "No."
So, to try the question, Jupiter turned a Cat into a Maiden, and gave
her to a young man for a wife. The wedding was duly performed and the
young couple sat down to the wedding-feast. "See," said Jupiter,
to Venus, "how becomingly she behaves. Who could tell that yesterday
she was but a Cat? Surely her nature is changed?"
"Wait a minute," replied Venus, and let loose a mouse into
the room. No sooner did the bride see this than she jumped up from her
seat and tried to pounce upon the mouse. "Ah, you see," said
"Nature will out."
Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by
Richard Heighway (1894). The page images come from Google
Books. The digitized text comes from Project
Gutenberg. You can purchase this inexpensive Dover edition, The
Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs from amazon.com.