Why Cats Live with Women

An African folk tale

Training to be a teacher? Then you must tell stories like this!

Ask your professors to arrange an online workshop: Using storytelling in the language classroom.

A highlight for all storytellers is the chance of attending a festival – meeting new tellers, hearing new stories.
Last month I was invited to the 20th Kanoon International Storytelling Festival in Tehran, Iran. One of the many great tellers there, John Mukeni Namai from Kenya, gave me this lovely tale!

Since posting the tale, a good friend Major Mustard wrote:
I was looking at your website and was interested to see that you are telling a tale which I came across about three years ago and have been telling since with shadow puppets – “Why cats live with women”. I thought it might be of interest to you to know that I came across it in a collection of tales put together as his favourite African stories by Nelson Mandela.

The recording was made in 2018 at the Gostner Hoftheater, Nuremberg.


The video clips here are all amateur quality, shot in various theatres.

Their intention is just to show the range of my storytelling and give a flavour of a live performance.

Permission is granted for use in non-commercial educational contexts.

The videos are © Richard Martin.

Professionally recorded CDs and DVDs are available here.

Audio recording

World Storytelling Day, (20.03.20, in the time of the coronavirus) has the topic of “Voyages”, Here is a new audio recording of the African folk tale Why Cats Live with Women – my contribution to the German professional storytellers association, Verband der Erzählerinnen und Erzähler (VEE) collection of tales online. The entire collection can be heard here.

More comic tales

The video gallery has become very extensive. So if you would enjoy more tales like this, here are a few suggestions.

Go here for tales to watch

Go here for a list of all tales included on this site

Go here to receive an e-mail notification when new tales are added

Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling