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Group Title: three little kittens
Title: The three little kittens
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028208/00001
 Material Information
Title: The three little kittens
Alternate Title: Little kittens
Physical Description: 71 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ballantyne, R. M ( Robert Michael ), 1825-1894
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London
Edinburgh
New York
Publication Date: 1875
Copyright Date: 1875
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cats -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kittens -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's songs   ( lcsh )
Nursery rhymes -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nursery rhymes   ( rbgenr )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by R.M. Ballantyne.
General Note: A vocal score, a children's duet, precedes Ballantyne's prose retelling of song.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028208
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ALG2034
oclc - 60820630
alephbibnum - 002221804

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
        Front page 2
    Half Title
        Front page 3
        Front page 4
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Main
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
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        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
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        Page 20
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        Page 24
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    Back Cover
        Page 73
        Page 74
Full Text














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THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS.


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THE H[TTENS THEE OF THE LOTS OF THE MITTENS










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THE



THREE LITTLE KITTENS.




BY

R. M. BALLANTYNE,
AUTHOR OF TTIE ROBBER KITTEN," ETU.





A tale of a cat will here be found,
With three little charming kittens,
And all that they said, and thought, and did,
When they lost-and found- their mittens.





LONDON:
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.

"I875.



















THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS.

DUET FOR CHILDREN.



FIRST
VOICE. ^=5--=g=

Three lit-tie kit-tens they lost their mit-tens, And
SECOND __- -
VOICE.


tJe -9- -9 9-- -f




they be-gan to cry, "0 mam my dear, We



-- ^--- ..... =_i----=:--=-I= -







sad ly fear, Our mit-tens we have lost!" "What!


--*-









6 THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS.


"ly t F -,- ~ ,- -- F |


lost your mit-tens, You naugh ty kit-tens! Then


r- ., -"-----"-- -*---








you shall have no pie." "Miew i miew!











miew! miew! Miew! miew! miew miew !"



.- _.-












I ~ ~ - I -
I )-- / #' : -







THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS.




THREE little kittens, they lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
"Oh mammy dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost!"
"What lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens !
Then you shall have no pie."
Miew, miew, miew, miew,
Miew, miew, miew, miew.

The three little kittens, theyfound theirmittens,
And they began to cry, 8 ..








8 THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS.

"Oh mammy dear,
See here, see here,
Our mittens we have found."
"What! found your mittens,
You little kittens!
Then you shall have some pie."
Purr, purr, purr, purr,
Purr, purr, purr, purr.

The three little kittens put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie.
"Oh mammy dear,
We greatly fear
Our mittens we have soiled."
"What! soiled your mittens,
You naughty kittens !"
Then they began to sigh.
Miew, miew, miew, miew,
Miew, miew, miew, miew.

The three little kittens, they washed their
mittens,
And hung them up to dry.
"Oh mammy dear,
Look here, look here,
Our mittens we have washed."









THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS. 9

"What, washed your mittens,
You darling kittens !
But I smell a rat close by !
Hush, hush !" Miew, miew,
Miew, miew, miew, miew.














A --
-*2^
~ *''- t'U
q ^a-,-i.

























4







-*-9
I -^ :T




THE

THREE LITTLE KITTENS.


Three little kittens lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
"Oh mother dear,
We very much fear
That we have lost our mittens."

.^_ 0 the three little kittens
;, ran to their mother, and
:'.i held up their paws to
show that the mittens were
really lost. Now, the kittens'
mother was a large gray cat.






12 THE MITTENS LOST.
She wore a cap on her head,
and a pair of red mittens
on her arms. And when she
saw the three little kittens sit-
ting before her, with their
paws up, and looking half-
frightened, half-astonished, she
became angry, and said, Mee-
a-ow! Then she sat down
before them, looking very
fierce, and said Mee-a-ow!"
again. At this the three little
kittens began to cry, and said
they were very sorry indeed
for losing them; but they
could not tell how it happened,
for they were quite sure they






ILL-TIMED MIRTH. 13
had them on when they were
eating their breakfast of bread
and milk, and that they did
not take them off when they
went to play.
But when did you miss
them? asked the cat.
We don't remember," an-
swered the two eldest kit-
tens.
Oh! I missed mine just
after I went to sleep on the
rug," replied the youngest.
At this the other two kittens
went into fits of laughter; but
their mother gave them each
such a slap on the head and






14 THE KITTENS SCOLDED.

a scratch on the nose that they





















"Come, come, you naughty
%
sat down again, trembling, be-,
fore her.
Come, come, you naughty






A LECTURE, 15
things," she said, "you must
not laugh when I am scolding
you. It is an easy thing to
lose mittens, but not at all
easy to find them again. As
a punishment, I will not speak
"to you until you have found
them. Ah! Miss Spottie, it is
all very well'to cry, but it
would be much better if you
never did anything to make
you cry, or to oblige me to
scold you. Fuff! mee-a-ow!
fuff! I'm very angry."
The cat was silent for a short
time, then she said,-
"Now, sit still, kittens-do






16 AN AWFUL FUFF "

you hear !-and wipe your eyes
and noses, and listen to me.
You are very bad for having
lost your mittens. It cost me
much money to buy worsted
for them, and much time to
make them; so, since you have
so carelessly

"Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
Mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow,
Go; you shall have no pie.
Mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow."

Their mother said this last
"mee-a-ow" so fiercely, and
followed it up with such an
awful "fuff," that the poor
(418)






IN A DILEMMA. 17
kittens turned round and scam-
pered away as if they were
mad, with their hair all stand-
ing on end.
Now, the eldest kitten was
black ; the second was white ;
and the youngest spotted; so
they called each other Blackie
and Whitie and Spottie.
What shall we do ? said
Blackie to his sisters when
they had fled under a sofa.
"I don't know," said Whitie;
and "I don't know," said
Spottie.
Blackie shook his head and
twirled his tail slowly, and
(u18) 2






18 VAIN REGRETS.
said, Dear mother is very
angry with us. And no won-
der, for we had no business to
lose our mittens. I'm very,
very sorry about it."
And I'm very sorry too, but
I cannot think where we have
put them," said Whitie sadly.
Oh, dear me !" sighed
Spottie, "I do wish that dear
mamma had never made them
for us. Of course it was very,
very kind of her to do so, but
they have given us so much
trouble -I really think we
should have been much happier
without them."






A THOUGHTLESS SPEECH. 19
"Hush! hush! my dear sis-
ter," said Blackie ; "you must
not speak that way. You
might just as well say you
wished we had been made
without tails because they give
us so much trouble, and are so
often caught in the doors, and
trod on by careless people."
Spottie could hardly speak
as she looked up with tears in
her eyes and said, Oh dear!
I'm so grieved about the pie! "
and she rubbed her stomach
gently with her paw.
What think you," cried
Blackie, starting up, shall we






20 THE MITTENS FOUND.
look for them?" So they
cried, "Yes, yes," and scam-
pered off to search.
I'll find them, if I should
search for a week," said Spottie
with a very determined Mee-
a-ow." And they did search,
and found them too. Then
they ran joyfully to their
mother, waving their mittens
in the air, and uttering shouts
of a very peculiar kind, which
were no doubt intended for
hurrahs! although they did
not sound very like it.
"Aren't you glad we have
found them ?" said Blackie.






GENERAL JOY. 21

"Of course I am," replied
Spottie, whisking her tail. So

The three little kittens found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
"Oh mother dear,
See here, see here !
See we have found our mittens."

The cat received them with
a sweet smile and a long, loud
"Pur-r-r-r-r."
Well, my dear children,"
she said, "I am glad you have
found your mittens, and I hope
you will take care not to lose
them again."
"Oh yes! dear mother,"
cried the three kittens, "we






22 NICE, USEFUL THINGS.
will take great care of them
in future."
The cat smiled and screwed
up her whiskers with joy to
find that her little ones were
so anxious to please her; and
then she said,-
Don't you find them nice,
useful things, my dears ?"
Blackie looked at Whitie,
and said nothing; but Spottie
gave a little jump and said,-
"Well, we didn't think so
at first; but I believe they are
very nice and useful after all,
now I think of it, for they are
constantly being lost, and keep






A VENTURESOME MOUSE. 23
us employed looking for them;
and then they are for ever
catching on corners and nails,
and making me tumble, which
makes Blackie and Whitie
laugh very much-and that's
funny, you know, if it's nothing
else!"
Now, while they were so
busy talking, a mouse peeped
out of its hole, to see if there
were any crumbs lying about;
and as it saw that the cat and
kittens were not watching, it
ventured to run a little along
the floor. In a moment
Spottie caught sight of it.






24 A HOT PURSUIT.
Up went her tail, which grew
nearly as thick as her little
body, and away she went in
pursuit, with her claws out,
and her eyes flashing, and her
mouth open. Blackie and
Whitie and their mother in-
stantly followed; but the little
mouse was so quick that it got
":- k in time; and when Spottie
c(.;uned her nose and paws
into the hole, there was nothing
to be found there. Blackie
and Whitie each ran against
Spottie in their haste, and the
cat fell on the top of them all,
amid much noise and mee-a-







ESCAPE OF THE MOUSE. 25

owing, which caused the little
mouse to laugh, although it




\ ---




I' I t I






THE ESCAPE OF THE MOUSE.

trembled a good deal too,
when it thought of the danger
it had escaped.






26 A DAINTY DISH.

When they had recovered
from the flutter into which
this had thrown them, the cat
praised her children ; called
them good, active little dears,
and said,-" No doubt that
naughty mouse is laughing at
us just now; but never mind,
we shall catch it yet, depend
upon it, and have it stewed
with green pease for supper,
my pets; so now

"Put on your mittens,
You silly kittens,
And you may have some pie.
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r,
Oh let us have the pie,
Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r."






WILD WITH DELIGHT. 27
On hearing this, Spottie gave
such a sudden scream of de-
light, that her brother and sis-
ter jumped five times their
own height into the air with
the fright; and when they a-
lighted on the ground again,
their backs and tails were up,
and their hair standing on end,
so that they looked like two
round balls of fur! What do
you mean by startling us so ?"
they asked, with an angry
little Fuff."
"Oh! I beg pardonn" re-
plied Spottie, looking very
meek and innocent; I did






28 SPOTTIE'S JOY.
not wish to startle you, but
I'm so glad that we are to
have the pie after all!" and
Spottie was so overjoyed at
the thoughts of it, that she
gave another scream, made up
of a Purr" and a "Mee-a-
ow mixed together, and scam-
pered round the room till she
was quite out of breath.
Blackie and Whitie ran after
her all the time ; but, although
Spottie was very little, and
very fat, just like a dumpling,
she ran so fast that they could
not catch her for five minutes
at least.






A MOCK BATTLE. 29
Then they all rolled together
in a lump, so that you would
have thought it was one cat
with three heads, and three
tails, and six pairs of legs!
Then they separated with a
wild cry, and bounced away
from each other with their
backs up as usual, and their
tails very thick, and walking
very much sideways-just like
crabs-and staring at each
other all the time, as if they
intended to have a very fierce
battle.
As they stood thus, Blackie
caught sight of his own tail,






30 A NOISY GAME.
and immediately began to run
round after it. Seeing this,
Whitie and Spottie rushed at
their brother, clasped him in
their arms, and they all rolled
along the floor again in a
knot of confusion, hugging
and worrying each other as if
they were really angry.
"Let go my tail, Blackie,
you rascal," cried Whitie.
No, I won't replied
Blackie.
Keep your claws out of my
nose, yee-aw mee-aw a-a-ow !
mee-! spurt! fuff! shrieked
Spottie.







A MOTHER'S DELIGHT. 31

In the meantime, their
mother took up her knitting,




_- I-- ---'

SK










THE KITTENS GOING TO EAT THE PIE.
and looked on with a smile,
purring very loudly all the






32 A FAMOUS PIE.

time. At last she called to them
to stop; and when they were
seated in a row before her, she
told them to go and eat the
pie, and said, Spottie, you
little monkey, don't stuff your-
self too much! So

The three little kittens put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie.
"Oh mother dear,
We greatly fear
That we have soiled our mittens."

The pie was a very fine one.
It was made entirely of the
tails of mice and rats' noses,
and was covered with a rich
crust of, toasted cheese. Be-






WHAT WAS IN IT. 33
sides this, there were a great
many different kinds of spices
in it. This may perhaps sur-
prise you, for it is well known
that cats are not fond of spices;
but you must remember that
the kittens we are speaking of
were different from all other
kittens in many things. They
were fond of spices, so the cat
put into the pie a little pepper,
a little cinnamon, a little nut-
meg, a little ginger, besides a
good many cloves and some
mustard, and a large quantity
of canaries' claws, and the
whiskers of mice.
(418) 3






34 TEMPTATION.
The moment Spottie saw it
she made a rush forward, and
would have jumped right into
it; but Blackie saw what she
was going to do, so he caught
her, and said in a reproving
voice, My dear sister, you
should not be so impatient.
Let us all begin to it to-
gether. There is no need of
hurry."
Spottie blushed deeply, and
said,-
"Oh.! dear brother! I'm
very foolish, and very sorry,
but-" Spottie could say no
more, for at that moment the






A RICH FEAST. 35

smell of the crust passed her
nose, and, unable to resist it
any longer, she burst away from






v- ..*- _ -



A RICH FEAST.

Blackie, rushed up to the pie,
leaped upon a footstool, clam-
bered on the edge of the dish,
and plunged her fore-paws and






36 AFTER THE BANQUET.
her nose into the very middle
of it! Seeing this, the other
two gave a whisk with their
tails and did the same; and
in ten minutes the whole was
finished-not so much as the
point of a nose or the end of
a tail was left. When they
had finished, and were trying
to lick their lips, paws, and
whiskers clean, Spottie gave a
terrible Mee-a-ow," and cried
out, Oh, dear me! my mit-
tens are soiled. What will
dear mamma say ? alas! alas!"
The other two also began to
cry, for they too had soiled






AGAIN IN GRIEF. 37
their mittens, so that they
were not fit to be seen. But
Blackie soon dried his eyes,
and said, "Let us go and tell
mamma; perhaps she won't be
angry. At any rate, it is bet-
ter to tell her at once." So
they agreed, and went and told
her. The cat could only hold
up her paws in astonishment,
and cry, "Alas! alas! "
Oh dear! oh dear! mee-
oo! oo! cried Blackie.
"I'm very, very sorry, but
it was the pie's fault," sobbed
Spottie.
Whitie wept in silence.







38 A SAD SIGHT.

The cat shook her head and
exclaimed, sadly,

Soiled your mittens !
You naughty kittens !"
Then they began to sigh,
Mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow,
Then they began to sigh,
Mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow.

It was a sad sight to see
these three little kittens, sit-
ting with their mittens all
covered over with grease, and
the tears rolling down their
cheeks; and it was a sad sight
to see their poor mother quite
unable to speak for sorrow at
their foolishness. For, after
all, they were really good kit-






THE RESULT OF THOUGHTLESSNESS. 39
tens, and all the evil they did
was owing to thoughtlessness.
So the cat sighed, and said
that it was very sad, and the
kittens wept more than ever;
but Spottie caught sight of
Blackie's tail, which was mov-
ing at the point, and she could
not help making a sudden dart
at it. Then she remembered
that it was wrong to play when
she was naughty ; so she sat
down and cried again, wiping
her eyes with the end of her tail,
and looking very wretched.
Oh forgive us, dear
mother! said Blackie, and






40 MAKING PROMISES.
we will try to behave better in
future."
"Forgive us, dear mother! "
said Whitie, and I will never
do anything wicked again."
Forgive us, dear mother! "
cried Spottie, and I'll try all
I can to remember not to be
naughty. I'll never dirty your
ball of worsted by chasing it,
and I'll never upset the tea-
kettle, and I'll never scratch
Blackie's face even in fun,
and I'll never grow wild with
delight or annoy you any
more, and I'll never-never-
Oh dear! boo-hoo I wish I






FORGIVEN AT LAST. 41
was only good!" and little
Spottie put both her paws up
to her eyes, and rubbed her
face with the soiled mittens,
and cried as if her very heart
would break.
"Ah! yes, forgive us! do
forgive us this time! they all
cried out together.
I forgive you, my children;
but you have indeed made me
very miserable;" and the cat
shook her head mournfully, and
sobbed as she went on with
her knitting. Now, while she
lifted her paw to wipe away a
tear, and put her spectacles







42 NAUGHTY KITTENS.

right, she let fall the ball of
worsted, which rolled slowly






A- -



.,': '. ; l = , .





NAUGHTY KITTENS.

along the floor. In an instant
the three kittens forgot their







MORE MISCHIEF. 43
sorrow, rushed after the ball,
-Spottie first, as usual-and
knocked over a small table on
which stood a beautiful china
bowl and a glass of flowers,
which were smashed to atoms,
With a general yell they all
fled out of the room in ex-
treme terror.

After this the kittens began
to think that they might try
to wash their mittens; so

The three little kittens washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry.
"Oh mother dear,
Do you not hear,
That we have washed our mittens?"






44 THE KITTENS' TROUBLES.
These kittens were very de-
termined little creatures, and
when they had once made up
their minds that a thing ought
to be done, they always did
it, in spite of all difficulties;
so they resolved to wash the
mittens. Whitie laughed at
their troubles, and Blackie
laughed too, but as the soap-
suds made his eyes smart and
water very much, it just seemed
as if he were crying and
laughing at the same time;
and this looked so funny that
Whitie laughed till she nearly
cried, and let her mittens fall






WASHING THE MITTENS. 45
into the water two or three
times.
They washed them in a small
tub; and much difficulty they
had in doing it. The sides
of the tub were so high, that
Blackie and Whitie were
scarcely able to reach the
water; and Spottie was so
small that she had to climb
up and stand on the edge of
it, while she put down her
paws to wash. Then Whitie
said she couldn't hold the soap,
it was so slippery; and some
more suds went into Blackie's
eyes and made him nearly






46 A WARNING.
blind; and the soap was lost
in the water two or three
times, and they had great diffi-
culty in finding it again. All
this time Spottie was sitting
on the edge of the tub, wash-
ing very busily, when Blackie
said, Take care, Spottie; you
will fall in if you don't mind."
"No fear!" cried Spottie;
but, just as she said so, down
she went, head first and tail
last; and when she recovered
her feet again, and stood up
on her hind-legs, her eyes
staring with fright, and her
mouth gasping for breath, she







AN ACCIDENT. 47

looked so funny, covered all
over with soap-suds, that the









other kittens laughed very .
I f
^ -'" ., i 0I : ,












much and then cried; after
"which the pulled her out of
'- ---' i.. .. -- _' .


SPOTTIB; FALLS INTO THE WASHING-TUB.

other kittens laughed very
much and then cried; after
which they pulled her out of






48 HOW SPOTTIE WAS DRIED.
the tub. But this was no easy
thing to do. And then when
they did get her out, they
rubbed her with a towel, and
held her up to the fire to dry;
but they were so stupid that
they singed the point of her
tail very badly! However,
they got her dried at last, and
dried their mittens also.
Now, darling," said Whitie,
giving Spottie a kiss, do you
feel better ? are you quite
dry ?"
"Of course she is," said
Blackie, pulling her tail slily.
When all was ready, they







SMELLING A RAT. 49

took the mittens in their paws
and ran joyfully with them to
the cat, who was still at her
knitting, looking very sad in-
deed. When she saw what
they had done, she exclaimed
with pleasure and surprise,-

"Washed your mittens !
Oh you're good kittens;
But I smell a rat close by !
Hush hush mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow,
We smell a rat close by !
Mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow, mee-a-ow."

As she spoke, a rat sprang
out of its hole, rushed across
the room, along the passage,
and out into the garden. The
cat instantly threw down her
(418) 4






50 A CHASE.
knitting, tossed her spectacles
into the fire, jumped over the
heads of her children, and
dashed away in chase of the
rat, while the three little kit-
tens dropped their mittens and
followed her as fast as their
little legs could wag,-mee-a-
owing wildly as they went,
and tumbling over the window
in their haste; so that Spottie
fell flat on her back, and
Whitie fell into Spottie's arms,
and Blackie fell on the top
of them both. But they soon
scrambled up again, and then
they saw the cat standing at






ESCAPED! 51
the mouth of a hole into
which the rat had run.
















hole for a good long time,
hole for a good long time,






52 AN UNCOMFORTABLE HOLE.
for they knew that the rat
did not live there, and that
it was not a comfortable hole
at all,-being not very deep,
and rather damp, so that it
was likely the rat would catch
cold if it remained long there.
The cat stood near the hole,
to be ready to pounce on the
rat the moment it should show
its nose; and the three kittens
stood a little way behind her,
looking on anxiously.
I wish very much," said
White, that we could catch
a rat; I think the three of us
might manage to kill it easily."






CONCERNING TAILS. 53
"Oh! whispered Spottie,
as her eyes opened wide with
surprise, "just look at mam-
ma's tail !-such a size "
"Just look at your own,"
said Blackie; "it's not much
less!"
Spottie turned her head to
look at it, but at that moment
thie rat rushed out of the hole,
and her mother flew off after
it. The kittens immediately
followed, and away they went
over fields, and hedges, and
ditches ; with their eyes flash-
ing, their tails up, and their
hair on end.






54 AN ADVENTUROUS CHASE.
Now, the chase which had
begun thus furiously was a
much more adventurous one
than the cat and kittens had
expected it would be. Blackie
thought they could catch the
rat at once ; Spottie and Whitie
hoped that they might catch it
very soon; but their mother
knew better. She had often
chased rats before, and knew
that they were very nimble,
and that when overtaken they
were extremely fierce, so that
even terrier dogs were some-
times afraid of them.
"Mamma," gasped Spottie






A REMINISCENCE. 55
as they rushed along, "do rats
bite ?"
Yes, my love, they do.
Once I caught a rat by the
tail, and it seized me by the
nose and almost bit it off."
"Almost bit it off, mamma!"
exclaimed Spottie in horror;
" was it very painful ? "
Yes, very. Oh! so painful
that I almost fainted away; but
it happened to be supper-time,
and I thought it best to put off
the fainting till after supper."
"I wish I could catch a rat,"
cried Blackie, with a swagger-
ing flourish of his tail.






56 INTO A PUDDLE !
Take care, foolish boy," ex-
claimed the cat, "you will fall
into that puddle! There I
told you so! "
As she spoke Blackie tripped
over a stone and fell into a large
puddle of water which lay in
the middle of the road. Fortu-
nately it was not deep, and he
scrambled out without much
difficulty, to the joy of his
sisters, who really thought he
would have been drowned; but
the cat was so eager in pursuit
of the rat that she paid no at-
tention to her son.
Come on!" mewed Spottie.






A VERY WISE RAT. 57
"Quick! fuffed Whitie.
"Hooray !" yelled Blackie;
and away he went again as
fierce as ever, without taking
time to dry himself.
Now, the rat was a very large
and desperate one. Many a
time had it been chased before
by cats, and dogs, and boys, so
that it was not easily frightened.
It was an uncommonly wise
rat, too, and knew exactly how
to lead its enemies into danger.
It was familiar with all the by-
ways of the villages around its
dwelling, and was better ac-
quainted with the winding and






58 "WHERE AWAY V"
turnings and choking of all the
drains than the sanitary com-
missioner of the district. Thus
it came to pass that, after lead-
ing the cat and its kittens across
several fields and round a num-
ber of hay-stacks and down into
a ditch or two, it flew past the
mouth of an open sewer.
"Where away?" asked an
old gray rat with white whiskers
which sat at the entrance of the
sewer.
"There's a cat with three
kittens after me," exclaimed
the rat.
"Turn in here, then, and






A CURIOUS SUBJECT. 59
give them the slip," said the
old rat.
No I want to kill them.
I shall lead them to their doom!"
shrieked the other rat, viciously,
as it dashed away.
I wonder what their doom
is!" muttered the old gray rat;
but before it could think that
subject out the cat and kittens
flew past, frightened it nearly
out of its wits, and sent it
squeaking into the sewer!
After that the other rat led
its pursuers over a wild moor
and up a hill towards a steep
precipice, over which it hoped






60 A STRATAGEM DEFEATED.
they would fall; but the cat
knew of this precipice, and
warned her kittens in time.
"Keep in a straight line,"
she cried, quite straight, each
of you, one behind the other."
The kittens were very obedi-
ent, and it was fortunate that
they were so at this time.
Blackie ran immediately be-
hind his mother, and Spottie
went behind Blackie, and
Whitie behind Spottie. Thus
it came to pass that when the
rat ran to the edge of the pre-
cipice, and turned sharply to
one side, hoping to see his






A RACE FOR LIFE. 61
enemies fly over, the cat stopped
short; Blackie ran against her,
Spottie ran against Blackie,
and Whitie ran against them
all. Seeing this, the rat made
off again as fast as ever in an-
other direction; and the cat
and kittens, gathering them-
selves up, followed at the top
of their speed.
The rat now began to find
that his enemies were not to
be got rid of as easily as he
had expected. Serious thoughts
as to the possibility of his being
overtaken and killed began to
agitate his breast, and he cast






62 WHAT FUN!"
about in his mind as to the best
way of escaping. Crossing a
ridge of country, he saw a
village lying in a hollow sur-
rounded by beautiful trees, and,
as people sometimes express it,
"smiling in the sunshine."
"I'll give them the slip here,"
thought the rat.
"I'll catch him here," thought
the cat.
"Oh! what fun!" thought
Blackie.
"How charming!" thought
Spottie.
Hooray mewed Whitie.
But scarcely had Whitie said






AN OBSTACLE. 63
this when they all saw a hen
rush into the middle of the
road, with her feathers on end
and her eyes glaring.
"Oh dear!" cried Whitie,
bouncing up to her mother's
side, "what's the matter with
her ?"
"She has a family gasped
the cat.
"None the worse for that,"
thought Blackie, but he said
nothing.
The rat darted to one side and
passed the hen with chickens.
I must not take my eye off
the rat for a moment," cried






64 "SCATTERING."
the cat in an anxious tone.
" Scatter, my children, and you
shall be safe."
The three little kittens were
much surprised and a good deal
alarmed, because they did not
quite understand what their
mother meant, and the hen
looked very awful; but, being
obedient creatures, they at once
did what they were told, and
" scattered."
Blackie flew to the right,
Spottie dashed to the left, and
Whitie jumped right over the
hen's head, alighted in the
midst of the horrified chickens,






ON THE TRACK. 65
and rushed on screaming with
wild alarm.
Well done cried the cat.
"Now, my darlings, draw to-
gether again and keep close to
me. Don't let your spirits get
the better of you. Men some-
times do that, and they often
suffer for it; but cats have more
wisdom than many men, so we
must take care. I see the rat
making for yonder farm, down
by the dog-kennel there. If it
gets beyond the fence we shall
never catch it, because the
country there is full of rat-
holes. Therefore, we must kill
(418) 5






66 HEROIC RESOLVES.
it on this side of the fence, or-
die in the attempt! Never mind
the dog. Scatter when you
come near him."
The cat said all this with a
fierce expression, yet with such
an air of being ready to sacrifice
her life in attempting to do her
duty, that the three kittens felt
quite elevated, and their small
bosoms were agitated with a
heroic resolve to "do or die."
"Now's the day!" mewed
Blackie.
"And now's the hour !"
growled Spottie with deep-
toned enthusiasm.







A FIERCE CUSTOMER. 67
"Death or victory! "squeaked
Whitie.
In this frame of mind and
body they reached the dog-
kennel.
Now, the dog that dwelt
there was a remarkably fierce
one. It was a sort of half mas-
tiff half bull-dog-not that it
had the head of the one and
the tail of the other, but it had
the appearance of each and the
spirit of both mixed up in its
great shaggy body.
When the cat and kittens
drew near the kennel, this aw-
ful monster flew out. Fortu-







68 MISSING THE MARK.
nately, it was held fast by a
strong chain.
"Scatter! cried the cat.
Away went the obedient three
-Blackie to the right, and
Spottie to the left. Whitie,
feeling somewhat proud of
having leaped over the head
of the hen, attempted to do the
same over the head of the dog;
but she missed her mark, and,
horrible to relate, jumped right
into the dog's blood-red jaws!
The catterwaul that this drew
from her mother was enough to
have terrified the fiercest dog,
but it did not terrify the dog






A FIT OF COUGHING. 69
into whose mouth Whitie had
plunged. Fortunately, how-
ever, for the poor little kitten
and her relations, Whitie's tail
happened to whisk round when
she struck against the dog's
back teeth, and the point of it
went down his throat and tickled
him, so that he was seized with
a violent fit of coughing, and
coughed the kitten right out of
his mouth!
To recover her legs and re-
sume her mad career, was the
work of a moment with Whitie.
In two seconds more she was
galloping beside her mother, a






70 ESCAPE OF THE RAT.
little ruffled in the fur, no doubt,
but not otherwise the worse for
the adventure.
Seeingthis, they all redoubled
their efforts to catch the rat,
but they failed. The delay
caused by the dog gave the
rat time to get to the other side
of the fence, where a large cave
or hole was seen, not many
yards distant. Into this hole
it rushed madly. Into the same
hole plunged the cat and the
three little kittens. The last
seen of them was their three
tails twirling in the dark en-
trance of the cavern, as they







CONCLUSION. 71

disappeared. So-the cat and
the rat and the three little
kittens never were heard of
more 1




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