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J. H. Stickney

The Mouse, the Cat, and the Cock

A YOUNG Mouse, that had not seen much of the world, came home one day and said: "O mother! I have had such a fright! I saw a great creature strutting about on two legs. I wonder what it was! On his head was a red cap. His eyes were fierce and stared at me, and he had a sharp mouth.

"All at once he stretched his long neck, and opened his mouth so wide, and roared so loud, that I thought he was going to eat me up, and I ran home as fast as I could. I was sorry that I met him, for I had just seen a lovely animal, greater even then he, and would have made friends with her. She had soft fur like ours, only it was gray and white. Her eyes were mild and sleepy, and she looked at me very gently and waved her long tail from side to side. I thought she wished to speak to me, and I would have gone near her, but that dreadful thing began to roar, and I ran away."

"My dear child," said the mother, "you did well to run away. The fierce thing you speak of would have done you no harm. It was a harmless Cock. But that soft, pretty thing was the Cat, and she would have eaten you up in a minute, for she is the worst enemy you have in the whole world. Appearances are not always to be trusted."