Gateway to the Classics: Firelight Stories by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
Firelight Stories by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Cat and the Mouse

O NCE upon a time there was a cat who was playing with a mouse in a malt house. Now, whether the cat meant to do such a rude thing, or whether he did not, I do not know; but he bit off the mouse's tail.

And the poor little mouse said:—

"Please, Puss, give me back my tail again."

"No," said the puss, "I'll not give you back your tail unless you go to the cow and fetch me some milk."

Then off went the mouse, and—

First she leaped, and then she ran,

Till she came to the cow, and thus began:—

"Please, cow, give me some milk that I may give it to the cat, and she will give me back my little long tail."

"No," said the cow, "I will give you no milk until you go to the farmer and fetch me some hay."

Then off went the mouse, and—

First she leaped, and then she ran,

Till she came to the farmer, and thus began:—

"Please, farmer, give me some hay, that I may give it to the cow, and she will give me some milk for the cat, who will then give me back my little long tail."

"No," said the farmer, "I'll give you no hay until you fetch me some meat from the butcher."

Then off went the mouse, and—

First she leaped, and then she ran,

Till she came to the butcher, and thus began:—

"Please, butcher, give me some meat, that I may give it to the farmer, who will then give me hay for the cow, the cow will give me milk for the cat, and the cat will give me back my little long tail."

"No," said the butcher, "I will give you no meat until you fetch me some bread from the baker."

Then off went the mouse, and—

First she leaped, and then she ran,

Till she came to the baker, and thus began:—

"Please, baker, give me some bread for the butcher, then the butcher will give me meat for the farmer, the farmer will give me hay for the cow, the cow will give me milk for the cat, and the cat will give me back my little long tail."

"Well," said the baker, "I'll give you some bread,

But don't eat my meal, or I'll cut off your head."

So the good baker gave the mouse some bread; the mouse gave the bread to the butcher, who gave him some meat; the mouse gave the meat to the farmer, who gave him an armful of hay; the mouse gave the hay to the cow, and the cow gave the mouse a saucer of milk for the cat. Then the cat drank the milk, and gave the mouse his little long tail. And they went on playing in the malt house.


 Table of Contents  |  Index  |  Home  | Previous: The Story of the Kid Who Would Not Go  |  Next: The Greedy Cat
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2019   Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.