A Stoic fable for life-lovers young & old.

Stock Horse and Stable Cat Book

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What if the secret to living a happier life was simply changing our attitude about the things we experience?

“We get to decide for ourselves how things make us feel,” said the stock horse at last. “And that is good.”

The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat

In this enchanting new take on an age-old Stoic idea, an unlikely friendship teaches a faithful stock horse and a wily stable cat to see the world through each other’s eyes. Along the way, they learn a valuable lesson: there’s good to be found in everything, if we only take the time to look for it.

This much-loved classic from author Phil Van Treuren and Stoic Simple Press has been purchased and enjoyed by thousands of happy readers!

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Reader Reviews of The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat

Chris Stephan

Loved it. It has become one of my favorites like “The Giving Tree” and “I’ll Love You Forever.”

Betsy Alexander Waggoner

This is a beautiful book with such a great message. I love it. I ordered it and donated it to the town library.

Janis Berry

Wonderful story with such words of wisdom. It now gets passed down.

Andrew Wilkerson

Just ordered a signed copy. The narrated version on YouTube resonated with me, and I shared the story with my close friends and family members when the topic of happiness arose.

Beverly Griffin

Beautiful illustrations and inspiring story. Touched my heart.

Anne Sibilla Meriwether

It’s a lovely book. I keep it nearby as a reminder . . . thank you for making this.

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A Stoic fable for life-lovers young and old.

The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat tells the story of two friends who have very different opinions about what should be called “good” and “bad.” As they walk on the ranch together one autumn day, they gradually realize that their own stubborn opinions of the world might not be the only way to see things.

“It’s not things themselves that make us feel upset, but our judgements about things.”


Hundreds of years after the Stoic philosopher Epictetus spoke these famous words about the power of our own perceptions, William Shakespeare made a similar observation. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” he wrote in Hamlet.

The horse and cat come to the same conclusion thanks to their journey together. The fable ends as they reach a simple agreement: the world can be viewed through any type of lens they choose.

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The Fables of Eudaimonia Book Series

The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat is the first volume of Stoic Simple’s Fables of Eudaimonia book series, which introduces the most basic, life-changing concepts of Stoicism to a modern audience with charming stories and captivating artwork. The seco book in the series, A Dog Who Follows Gladly, was published in early 2023.

Each fable in the series focuses on a fundamental principle of Stoic teaching with rich, delightful illustrations that will be loved by adults and children alike.

Stoicism Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on “good and bad”

The lesson in The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat is best reflected by a passage that Roman Emperor and Stoic thinker Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself nearly two thousand years ago: “If we limited ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to our own actions, we’d have no call to challenge Fate, or to treat others as enemies.”