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THE FAITHLESS PARROT.
By CHARLES H. BENNETT.
THERE once lived happily together, in a fine house, a tortoise-
shell Cat and a pretty white Dog: the Cat's name was Tittums;
the Dog's, Fido. In course of time the pretty Dog fell in love
with the Cat, and only waited for a good chance to disclose
his affections. This came one day, when Tittums had put
her paws on the fender, dropped her head a little on one
side, half closed her eyes, and seemed thinking of nothing at
all. Then Fido, who lay stretched at full length upon the
hearth-rug, looked steadfastly at her, and heaving a gentle
"Oh, Tittums, I've fallen in love!"
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"Indeed!" replied the prudent Cat, not wishing to show
him how anxious she was.
"Yes, indeed," continued the little Doggy, rather hurt at
her coldness: "ic's you that I've fallen in love with. Do you
like me, Tittums ?"
But Tittums would not answer, even with a single purr-r!
and it was only upon her giving him a sly look out of the
corner of her left eye that he guessed how much she did like
him. However, made bold by even this small token of esteem,
he came quietly up, and sat by her side; even going so far, at
last, as to take her out for a short walk down the garden-path,
where they looked through the railings at the people passing by.
"Well," said Fido to himself, "I have no doubt but she
will love me in time; all the more, as I have great hopes of
growing bigger before the spring."
But one morning, when Tittums came in from a visit she
had been paying her mamma, she was followed by a gentleman
from the tropics, who, with all the impudence of his race,
made himself quite at home, pressed ittumns' paw to his
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heart, called her "the loveliest of Cats," asked her to oblige
him with a song, which he had been told she could sing very
sweetly, and never took the least notice of poor Fido, who
was sitting in the corner. To tell the truth, poor Fido was
very cross, and began to growl quite savagely; the more so
when, to his dismay, he beheld the pleasure with which. Tit-
turns heard all this nonsense. He could not think what right
the bold stranger had to come there unasked; for all that he
had bright red and green feathers, a rakish, broad-brimmed hat,
and a gold-headed walking-cane, he was not good-looking, that
was very certain.
But Tittums was very much struck by his appearance and
bearing; his feathers were so pretty, he spoke so many lan-
guages, shrieked so terribly and in such a loud voice, had
tiavelled so much, and was so struck by the beauty of
STittums, that, poor little Cat as she was, she ceased to care a
button for faithful Fido, and kept all her sly glances for Mr.
P ul Parrot.
"T.-vely Tittums," said Mr. PBl, you must forget such!
upstart puppies as Fido. Listen to me-- am a traveller-I
speak five languages,-P' have a palace made of golden bars,
within which is a perch fit for a king,-I have a pension of
bread and milk and Barcelona nuts: all of which I will share,
with you. To-morrow we will go for a trip into the field
next to the house. Good-by for the present, my dear Pussy
Cat;" and lie went away kissing his hand.
Poor Fido howled. Naughty Tittums!
As day followed day, \liss Puss neglected her little Dog
nore and more. She walked out with MIr. Paul Parrot, she
sang to him, looked kindly at him, and, in fact, only seemed
happy when he was by. Poor Fido w\as true to his first love,
altlhougj almost brought to despair; he got very thin indeed,
and his fine bushy coat, which he had kept nice and clean,
became ragged and dirty.
Indeed, MIr. Parrot carried all before him; he was so grand,.
so loving, and so clever, that Fido from being deserted became
despised, and was indeed thinking about hanging himself on
the meat-hook in the kitchen.
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One evening, just after dark, as he was roaming about,
feeling very sad, and thinking that, perhaps, it would be better
to run away than to use the meat-hook, he all at once found
I himself in the next garden, and while he was looking round
him. he heard voices.
"Lovely Mrs. Daw," said one of the voices which he
s;Lmlled to recognize, "I am a traveller-I speak five languages
-I have a palace made of golden bars, within which is a
perch fit for a king,-I have a pension of bread and milk and
nuts; all of which I will share with you. To-morrow we will
fly for an excursion on to the great oak-tree in Farmer Hodges
"Dear me!" thought Fido, "this must be Mr. Parrot."
And, sure enough, so it was,--Mr. Parrot, indeed, and making
the warmest of love to old Mlrs. Daw, the widow of Miser
Jack Daw, who, during a long life, and by means of stealing and
saving, had laid by a large fortune, which he had left Mrs.
Daw to enjoy.
The old widow seemed very much pleased at the.warmth of
Mr. Paul's love, and no doubt thought that every word he said
was true; leering round at him with her old eyes, and wishing
that she had put on a clean muslin cap, as it might have made
her look even younger than she thought she did.
As for Fido, he almost jumped for joy; he ran home as
soon as ever he could.
"Oh, Tittums!" said he, heedless of her scornful looks,
"what do you think I have found out? There is that rascal
of a Paul Parrot, who pretends so much love for you, courting
XWidow Daw at this very moment; and if you come at once
you may see it with your own eyes."
"Nonsense!'' replied Tittums: I do not believe it."
eell,"5 said the Dog, "to convince you, if you will only
come to the other side of the wall you shall see that what I
have said is quite true."
But Pussy, trusting in the honour of Mr. Paul, would nut
believee a word, and it was only after a great deal of persuasion
that shle lVWs induced to junll over tle wall and listen.
S 1 e '1 fill courting, and the Parrot
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was trying, by coaxing the old lady, to find out how much she
was worth, and where all her treasures were hid. Indeed
Mrs. Daw was just on the point of telling him her secret,
when Tittums, unable to contain herself, rushed at Mr. Paul
and scratched his face.
"Oh, you bad Parrot !" she said; "did you not promise to
marry me, and take me to your golden palace?"
"Golden palace!" screamed Mrs. Daw: "why, you wicked
bird, that's what you promised me. Stay, ma'am, what did he
say besides ?-did he promise you any bread and milk, or any
Barcelona nuts ?"
"Yes, he did-he did-he did," continued the Cat, scratch-
ing and clawing the false, faithless Parrot as she spoke.
"Well," said Pussy, now fairly exhausted, "I hope you are
satisfied: if ever you come near our house again, I'll scratch out
every feather you have on your back;" and so she left him,
taking Fido with her, who, in spite of his general good nature
and the Parrot's rage, could not resist giving him two or three
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As soon as Mrs. Daw was left alone with Paul, she began
co upbraid him with his falseness,-" You vulgar, stuck-up,
ugly, awkward deceiver! you have neither honesty enough to
live by, nor wings enough to fly with." Whereupon she
jumped at him and gave him such a plucking as spoilt his
Never after this was the Parrot able to hold up his head.
Every one corned him; even his golden palace turned out to
be a brass cage; and for his misdeeds a chain was fastened
round his leg. He was confined to a wooden perch, which,.
out of pure spite, he was always pecking.
Old Widow Daw kept her secret, and remained unmarried.
Tittums could not help admiring the constancy of Fido;
and when in thee spring he had grown bigger, and was pro-
moted to a sweet red and black collar, Pussy found that she
bved him very much indeed, and made up her mind ever
more to forsake him.
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