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Horace Elisha Scudder

The Cat, the Monkey, and the Chestnuts

A Cat and a Monkey were sitting one day by the hearth, watching some chestnuts which their master had laid down to roast. The chestnuts had begun to burst with the heat, and the Monkey said to the Cat:—

"It is plain that your paws were made to pull out those chestnuts. Your paws are, indeed, exactly like our master's hands."

The Cat was greatly flattered by this speech, and reached forward for the tempting chestnuts. Scarcely had she touched the hot ashes than she drew back with a cry, for she had burned her paw. She tried again, and made out to get one chestnut. Then she pulled another, and a third, though each time she singed the hair on her paws. When she could pull no more, she turned, and found the Monkey had taken this time to crack the chestnuts and eat them.