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Mother Sissi and The Cozy Cat

Written by Mohamed Salah ABIDI & Tarak BRAHMI 1

Mother Sissi and The Cozy Cat Written by Mohamed Salah ABIDI & Tarak BRAHMI

ISBN: First published in 2010. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the Writers. Requests to the writers for permission should be addressed to Mohamed Salah ABIDI, L’Inspecteur d’Anglais, Lycée Tahar Hadded, Regueb 9170, Sidi Bouzid, Tunisie, or e-mail: or For additional copies/bulk purchases of this book in Tunisia please contact 98 98 98 94 or 20 23 96 79. We also publish our books in a variety of electronic formats. Printed in Tunisia by Donia Print, Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. 76 636 506 email:


nce upon a time, in a remote small village in the South of Tunisia, lived a middle-aged woman called Mother Sissi. Nobody really knows why she was called so. Some of the old dwellers of the village said that she was named Sissi after a lovely active bird that still lives in the village: Om Sissi. Others claim that her grandparents came from Khartoum, the capital of The Sudan, and settled in the village a few hundred years ago and some said that her name had some connection with the Berbers who fled to the south during the wars against the different peoples who invaded Tunisia in olden times. However, they all agreed on one thing: Mother Sissi was a very kind and caring mother. She loved her orphan kids so much and they loved her so much, too. Her husband was a victim of a road accident. A lorry driver was running at a crazy speed when uncle Slimane was crossing the road and hit him dead. 3

Mother Sissi was in her forties. She used to wear black garments and a scarf. She also wore a pair of brown leather-made slippers. She didn’t like wearing bright colourful clothes. She thought they were for younger women. On a sunny day – it was a hot Sunday- Mother Sissi was cleaning the house as usual. She had already finished milking and feeding the two she-goats. She had taken care of the chickens as well. She had collected the eggs, cleaned the poultry-yard and filled the pots with clean water. While she was sweeping the floor with a home-made broom - made of some kind of plant leaves (In her village, like in other villages in the South of Tunisia, women didn’t use to use ready-made brooms or vacuum cleaners like their granddaughters today.) At first, Mother Sissi thought it was a piece of broken glass that reflected the intense rays of the sun. But when she bent down and took the glinting object in her 4

Vocabulary A

aimlessly [adv] /ˈeɪmləsli/ without direction, with no purpose or aim apologise [vb] / əˈpɒlədʒaɪz / express regret, express sorrow arrangement [n] /əˈreɪndʒmənt / planning, preparation


before long soon, in a short time beg [vb] / beɡ / to ask for something, to plead bristle [n] / ˈbrɪsl / short hard hair broom [vb] / bruːm / to clean; to sweep broom [n] / bruːm / tool used for sweeping, cleaning the floor


clay [n] / kleɪ / type of soil used to make pottery and bricks cottage [n] / ˈkɒtɪdʒ / small house curl [vb] / kɜːl / to form a round shape


divine [adj] / dɪˈvaɪn / godly, from, by, related to God dusk [n] / dʌsk / the time of day immediately following sunset


exhausted [adj] / ɪɡˈzɔːstɪd / tired


ferocious [adj] / fəˈrəʊʃəs / wild, brutal


get rid of to eliminate, to remove gleaming [adj] / ˈɡliːmɪŋ / shiny, luminous, glinting,glittery glittery [adj] / ˈɡlɪtəri / (see gleaming) gracious [adj] / ˈɡreɪʃəs / kind, nice gulp [vb] / ɡʌlp / to take a large mouthful, eat a large quantity of food


head to a place go in a certain direction heaven [n] / ˈhevn / place where God and the angels stay hit the road set out, leave; depart, get going horrified [adj] / ˈhɒrɪfaɪd / shocked, frightened hypnotize [vb] / ˈhɪpnətaɪz / to control through magic, to mesmerize ill-ˈfated [adj] unlucky irritating [adj] /ˈɪrɪteɪtɪŋ/ annoying, bad


joyful [adj] / ˈdʒɔɪfl / happy


kind-ˈhearted [adj] nice, kind


marvellous [adj] / ˈmɑːvələs / wonderful, amazing


ˈmouth-watering [adj] delicious, yummy mumble [vb] / ˈmʌmbl / to speak unclearly


nostril [n] / ˈnɒstrəl / external opening of the nose


paw [n] / pɔː / animal’s foot; hand pot [n] / pɒt / container used for cooking, a ceramic vessel prey [n] / preɪ / animal that is hunted for food, victim provision [n] / prəˈvɪʒn / stock of something (like food) supply purr [n] / pɜː(r) / the sound of a sleeping cat


rush [vb] / rʌʃ / to hurry, make haste


scramble[vb] / ˈskræmbl / to hurry or run quickly shudder [vb] / ˈʃʌdə(r) / tremble, shake stroll [vb]1. to walk slowly stumble [vb] / ˈstʌmbl / to fall , to lose one’s balance, to make a mistake


yummy [adj] / ˈjʌmi / delicious, lip-smacking, luscious


Complete the following table with information about Mother Sissi:


Mother Sissi


Number Husband’s Animals of children name

What did Mother Sissi find when she was sweeping the floor? ______________________________________________________ Circle the correct answer: Cozy Cat wanted to borrow: a- Mother Sissi’s cooking pot. b- Mother Sissi’s broom. c-the kids’ guitar. Why were Mother Sissi’s children disappointed when they came out of the kitchen? ______________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________


Circle the three adjectives that describe Cozy Cat: helpful lazy responsible greedy shy naive careless Complete with words from the story: Animal sounds: Cats mew. Dogs __________. Owls__________. Foxes _________. The following statement is false. Correct it with details from the story: Cozy Cat enjoyed his trip to and from the mountain. _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ If you were Mother Sissi, would you cut the cat’s tail? Why? _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ What is the moral of this story? ______________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Imagine another ending to this story: ______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ 29



What did Mother Sissi find? Why did she decide to cut Cozy Cat’s tail? Why was the cat horrified while he was in the forest? Did the shepherd agree to help Cozy Cat?

Read this entertaining story to find the answers to these questions and to learn new words and expressions.

Printed in Tunisia by Donia Print, Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. 76 636 506




Mother Sissi & the Cozy Cat  

A story for kids inspiredby a Tunisan folk tale.

Mother Sissi & the Cozy Cat  

A story for kids inspiredby a Tunisan folk tale.