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The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle   By: (1866-1943)

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Author of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", &c.




ONCE upon a time there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little town. She was a good little girl only she was always losing her pocket handkerchiefs!

One day little Lucie came into the farm yard crying oh, she did cry so! "I've lost my pocket handkin! Three handkins and a pinny! Have you seen them, Tabby Kitten?"

THE Kitten went on washing her white paws; so Lucie asked a speckled hen

"Sally Henny penny, have you found three pocket handkins?"

But the speckled hen ran into a barn, clucking

"I go barefoot, barefoot, barefoot!"

AND then Lucie asked Cock Robin sitting on a twig.

Cock Robin looked sideways at Lucie with his bright black eye, and he flew over a stile and away.

Lucie climbed upon the stile and looked up at the hill behind Little town a hill that goes up up into the clouds as though it had no top!

And a great way up the hillside she thought she saw some white things spread upon the grass.

LUCIE scrambled up the hill as fast as her stout legs would carry her; she ran along a steep path way up and up until Little town was right away down below she could have dropped a pebble down the chimney!

PRESENTLY she came to a spring, bubbling out from the hill side.

Some one had stood a tin can upon a stone to catch the water but the water was already running over, for the can was no bigger than an egg cup! And where the sand upon the path was wet there were foot marks of a very small person.

Lucie ran on, and on.

THE path ended under a big rock. The grass was short and green, and there were clothes props cut from bracken stems, with lines of plaited rushes, and a heap of tiny clothes pins but no pocket handkerchiefs!

But there was something else a door! straight into the hill; and inside it some one was singing

"Lily white and clean, oh! With little frills between, oh! Smooth and hot red rusty spot Never here be seen, oh!"

LUCIE, knocked once twice, and interrupted the song. A little frightened voice called out "Who's that?"

Lucie opened the door: and what do you think there was inside the hill? a nice clean kitchen with a flagged floor and wooden beams just like any other farm kitchen. Only the ceiling was so low that Lucie's head nearly touched it; and the pots and pans were small, and so was everything there.

THERE was a nice hot singey smell; and at the table, with an iron in her hand stood a very stout short person staring anxiously at Lucie.

Her print gown was tucked up, and she was wearing a large apron over her striped petticoat. Her little black nose went sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and her eyes went twinkle, twinkle; and underneath her cap where Lucie had yellow curls that little person had PRICKLES!

"Who are you?" said Lucie. "Have you seen my pocket handkins?" The little person made a bob curtsey "Oh, yes, if you please'm; my name is Mrs. Tiggy winkle; oh, yes if you please'm, I'm an excellent clear starcher!" And she took something out of a clothes basket, and spread it on the ironing blanket.

"What's that thing?" said Lucie "that's not by pocket handkin?" "Oh no, if you please'm; that's a little scarlet waist coat belonging to Cock Robin!" And she ironed it and folded it, and put it on one side.

Then she took something else off a clothes horse "That isn't my pinny?" said Lucie. "Oh no, if you please'm; that's a damask table cloth belonging to Jenny Wren; look how it's stained with currant wine! It's very bad to wash!" said Mrs. Tiggy winkle.

MRS. TIGGY WINKLE'S nose went sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and her eyes went twinkle, twinkle; and she fetched another hot iron from the fire.

"THERE'S one of my pocket handkins!" cried Lucie "and there's my pinny!" Mrs... Continue reading book >>

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