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Mouser Cats' Story   By:

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[Illustration: Mrs. Mouser Cat walked up to Aunt Amy with a mouse in her mouth]

MOUSER CATS' STORY

By AMY PRENTICE

With Thirty Five Illustrations and a Frontispiece in Colors

BY J. WATSON DAVIS

[Illustration]

MOUSER CAT'S STORY.

On that day last week when it stormed so very hard, your Aunt Amy was feeling very lonely, because all of her men and women friends in the house were busy, and it was not reasonable to suppose any of her bird or animal acquaintances would be out. As she sat by the window, watching the little streams of water as they ran down the glass, she said to herself that this was one of the days when she could not hope to be entertained by story telling.

[Illustration: Mrs. Mouser Cat.]

"You don't seem to care whether Mrs. Man makes the pickles properly, or not," a voice from the doorway said, and, looking around in surprise, your Aunt Amy saw Mrs. Mouser Cat, an animal with whom she was very well acquainted, but who had never before ventured to speak with her.

Considerably astonished, because it had not come into her mind that Mrs. Mouser might prove to be as entertaining as any of the other animals she had talked with, your Aunt Amy asked:

"What about the pickles, Mrs. Mouser?"

"Why, Mrs. Man is putting them up; didn't you know it?" the cat replied, and your Aunt Amy said with a sigh:

"Oh, yes indeed, Mrs. Mouser, I know that, and you also know it is not possible for me to do any work around the house, owing to my illness. That is why I am idle on this day when the storm makes it seem very, very lonely.

"You can sit out of doors all the afternoon with a foolish old duck, or talk by the hour with Mr. Turtle, who hasn't got sense enough to go in when it rains, and yet you never invited me for an afternoon's story telling," and Mrs. Mouser arched her back as if she was angry.

"Do you know any stories?" your Aunt Amy asked, surprised again, and Mrs. Mouser replied quickly:

"It would be funny if I didn't. I've lived on this farm more than six years, and have known pretty much all that has happened around here in that time."

WHY CATS CATCH MICE.

"I wish you could think of a story to tell me now," your Aunt Amy said. "I am just in the mood for hearing one."

"It is the hardest thing in the world to stand up and begin telling a story without anything to start one going," Mrs. Mouser said thoughtfully, as she brushed her whiskers with her paw. "After you once get into it, of course, they come easy enough. How would it do if I should explain why it is that cats catch mice?"

"Was there ever a time when they didn't catch mice?" your Aunt Amy asked, surprised for the third time.

[Illustration: Mrs. Pussy Cat Visits her Cousin]

"Oh, yes indeed," Mrs. Mouser said in a matter of fact tone. "All cats used to be good friends with the mice, once upon a time, and it happened that because an old Mrs. Pussy, who lived in the city, didn't have anything in the house to eat, the cats took up catching mice. You see it was in this way: A cat that had always lived in the country, made up her mind one day to go and see her cousin in the city, so she put on her bonnet and shawl, wrapped some fried fish in a paper, and started.

"When she got there her cousin saw the fish, and it made her ashamed because she hadn't anything in the house to offer the visitor, so she asked, turning up her nose considerably:

"Do you cats in the country eat fish?' and Mrs. Pussy replied:

"Why, yes, of course we do; don't you?"

"Certainly not; it is thought to be a sign of ill breeding to eat such vulgar food,' and then remembering that she could not offer her cousin the least little thing, she said, never stopping to think very much about it. We eat mice here. They are delicious; you would be surprised to know what a delicate flavor they have."

That surprised the country cousin, and nothing would do but that she must go right out hunting for mice. Of course some one had to go with her, and then it was that the city cat found she hadn't made any such a very great mistake after all, for mice or rats, take them any way you please, cooked or raw, are very nice indeed... Continue reading book >>




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