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1001 Stories Collection

The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her To Fly

1001 storyofaseagullandthecat
Added on 08th July 2020

Author Luis Sepúlveda
First published 1996

Animals Family Environment and nature Friends
1001

An uplifting story about an unusual friendship.

Story

After being caught up in an oil spill, Kengah the seagull crashes onto a balcony in Hamburg and is found by Zorba, a big black cat. Before she dies, the seagull lays her final egg, and Zorba promises her that he won’t eat her chick but will take care of it - and so he does. With the help of some friends, he even manages to teach the baby gull to fly..

Why we chose it

An uplifting story about friendship, trust, and treating everyone as equals.

Where it came from

Luis Sepulveda (1949-2020) was a Chilean writer, journalist, and political and environmental activist. Imprisoned for resisting the Pinochet regime, he escaped, and later joined Greenpeace on one of their ships. Sepulveda lived in Hamburg for ten years with his family and two cats called Zorba and Bouboulina after the characters in his favourite story, Nikos Kazantzakis’ Zorba the Greek (1946). His children wanted him to read the story of Zorba to them so while writing The Story of the Seagull he read chapters to his children and let them comment. The book was his way of showing his love for Hamburg, along with messages of caring for each other and the environment.

Where it went next

Originally written in Spanish The Story of a Seagull... has been translated into more than 40 languages, including Russian, Hindi, and Arabic. There have been many adaptations but perhaps the most successful was the 1998 Italian animation Lucky and Zorba.

Associated stories

Sepulveda’s The Story of a Snail who Discovered the Importance of Being Slow has also been published in English with illustrations by Kitamura.

Added on 08th July 2020

Author Luis Sepúlveda
First published 1996

Animals Family Environment and nature Friends
1001