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Little Downy The History of A Field-Mouse   By: (1802-1899)

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[Transcriber's Note:

Missing quotation marks have been left unchanged for flavor. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected; errors and inconsistencies are listed at the end of the e text.]

Little Downy;





Embellished With


LONDON: Printed for A. K. NEWMAN and Co. Leadenhall Street. Price 1s. 6d.

[Illustration: Mrs. Clifford relating to her son Alfred, the history of the Field Mouse. ]

Little Downy;









LONDON: Printed for A. K. NEWMAN and Co. LEADENHALL STREET. 1822.


of a


"What is my little Alfred crying for?" asked his mother, Mrs. Clifford, as she entered the room where Alfred stood weeping by the table. Come here, and tell me what is the matter with you."

Alfred slowly advanced towards his mother, and wiped away his tears with her apron. Alfred was but a little boy, or he would not have cried for such a simple thing as he did.

"Well, Alfred, and what is it?" asked his kind mamma.

"Why, mamma, you know that nice plum cake you gave me for saying my lesson well; I had put it in the cupboard, as I did not want to eat it then, and I came just now to take a little nibble at it; and when I opened the closet door to look for it, there was an ugly brown mouse in the closet, and hardly a scrap of my cake left; that greedy thing had eaten it all but a few crumbs." And here Alfred's tears flowed afresh.

"I am very sorry, my dear child, that the mouse has eaten your cake; but still, I do not think it was worth shedding so many tears about: you must learn to bear such trifling disappointments with more patience. I dare say, the mouse has eaten my sugar and cake, but I shall not cry if it has."

"I am sure it is enough to make any one cry, (said Alfred). I only wish, (added he, his eyes sparkling with anger), that I could have killed the little beast for stealing my cake."

"Now, Alfred, I am ashamed of you," said his mother gravely.

Alfred could, however, think of nothing but the loss of his cake, and begged his mother to let the mouse trap be set to catch the mischievous intruder.

Mrs. Clifford was very sorry to hear her little son talk so, and she represented to him his cruelty in wanting to take away the life of a poor mouse only for having satisfied its hunger.

"But, mamma, mice do a deal of mischief, (said Alfred), and ought to be killed; for that mouse will soon eat up all your sugar."

"But, Alfred; I know a certain two legged mouse, who, if I left the key in my store closet, would eat more sugar in one minute than this poor little animal could in an hour."

Alfred hung his head at this reproof, for it was but a day or two since he was detected at the sugar dish; and he soon after left the room.

Mrs. Clifford was much grieved that her little Alfred shewed so much inclination to be cruel and revengeful, two qualities so dangerous in a child, or in any one; and she knew that, unless it was timely checked, it would grow into a habit. Harsh means, she did not like to adopt; and so she at last thought of a method which seemed likely to succeed. She was well aware of the inconvenience of having mice in her cupboard, as they not only commit great depredations, but soil every thing they touch; so, as she was forced to kill the mouse, she hoped to turn its death to a good use... Continue reading book >>

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