Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Back Cover

Title: The cat's pilgrimage
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00063830/00001
 Material Information
Title: The cat's pilgrimage
Physical Description: 4, 21 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Froude, James Anthony, 1818-1894
Blackburn, Jemima, 1823-1909 ( Illustrator )
Maclehose, James ( Publisher )
Edmonston & Douglas ( Publisher )
T. and A. Constable ( Printer )
Hamilton, Adams, & Co ( Publisher )
Macmillan & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Edmonston and Douglas
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Manufacturer: Thomas and Archibald Constable
Publication Date: 1870
Subject: Cats -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Happiness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Duty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pilgrims and pilgrimages -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Meaning (Philosophy) -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Ethics -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fables -- 1870   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1870
Genre: Fables   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Scotland -- Edinburgh
England -- London
England -- Cambridge
Scotland -- Glascow
Citation/Reference: NUC pre-1956,
Citation/Reference: BM,
Statement of Responsibility: by James Anthony Froude ; with six illustrations by J.B.
General Note: Other publishers listed on p. 2: London : Hamilton, Adams, and Co. ; Cambridge : Macmillan and Co. ; Glasgow : James Maclehose.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00063830
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223456
notis - ALG3705
oclc - 12698633

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Half Title
        Title 1
        Title 2
    Title Page
    List of Illustrations
        List, Illustrations 1
        List, Illustrations 2
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Chapter II
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Chapter III
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Chapter IV
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text

.. -.,-' i
Ii Ar 1-K n r 1 L r tf 1

AT .. I L o- ..*.
-" '. 4. '*. ..

B Y .J A M E S A N T H O N Y .F I 1 ,1E .,M .,A .'-+. .'* :" ,....
., 'L. 4 .. T-X "'* .i ;.-.". k
1 '- lL
iv i -" " "-" ", .' : -

S ,, .. .'. ..- .
," --.. -'.

"' + ',.- ^.
-i 4. 'W
1,'% .

"''7 I "
-. [ .. .,,.

W, .. ,


h.. ,t : L 4 41 ,
., ,

f. 1 ,.W *'' "
,. ; .. :# .* ;.

. .. ".s "+" ' ',+,, + .'
't,. ,H ,li ....~''R- v+r9~R~ 'I g. "-_.r ''-...;!. ,': '
<... ~~~ .i .'c,'' ",, -;." , _.!,=.,

".. ,. ** ., .-. I,,;
,, ,+,. ,..t +.i,,.I ,: ...; ',,.... :

ii---^*^- ---***- -.-- -------.-- -- --


IThe Baldwin Lbrary



Edinburgh: Printed by Thomas and Archibald Constable






/ /< ,
-" i '" '" \/-, ,
/, ~ -* : ** \v

/ .- -

\ "A ; i
II -.
1% I^'A -n
u .--^ - ',,i <

^~>_ -- v -M ,w V- ~- ,, ^ t ,: y" ^' t 1 .I !, t a:"" \.\

i^~ ~ .lU .u v ^ y| 4 1 'SI'l -,

.. ar. Y ,hare for l
t- '. ."

:--'t #i'
.. .- ,.. .' j

f f-- I'' tli il r'
"7" """




S1870. .
.; -^'' .I "- ^





WHAT ARE WE HERE FOR ? rontispiece.











" TT is all very fine," said the Cat, yawning, and stretching
herself against the fender, but it is rather a bore; I
don't see the use of it." She raised herself, and arranging her
tail into a ring, and seating herself in the middle of it, with her
fore paws in a straight line from her shoulders, at right angles
to the hearth-rug, she looked pensively at the fire. It is very
odd," she went on, there is my poor Tom; he is gone. I saw
him stretched out in the yard. I spoke to him, and he took
no notice of me. He won't, I suppose, ever any more, for they
put him under the earth. Nice fellow he was. It is wonder-
ful how little one cares about it. So many, jolly evenings we
spent together ; and now I seem to get on quite as well without
him. I wonder what has become of him; and my last children,
too, what has become of them ? What are we here for ? I would
ask the men, only they are so conceited and stupid they can't
understand what we say. I hear them droning away, teaching
their little ones every day; telling them to be good, and to do
wat they are bid, and all that. Nobody ever tells me to do


anything; if they do I don't do it, and I am very good. I
wonder whether I should be any better if I minded more. I'11
ask the Dog."
"Dog," said she, to a little fat spaniel coiled up on a mat
like a lady's muff with a head and tail stuck on to it, Dog, what
do you make of it all ?"
The Dog faintly opened his languid eyes, looked sleepily at the
Cat for a moment, and dropped them again.
"Dog," she said, I want to talk to you; don't go to sleep.
Can't you answer a civil question ?"
Don't bother me," said the Dog, I am tired. I stood on my
hind legs ten minutes this morning before I could get my break-
fast, and it hasn't agreed with me."
"Who told you to do it ?" said the Cat.
"Why, the lady I have to take care of me," replied the Dog.
"Do you feel any better for it, Dog, after you have been
standing on your legs ?" asked she.
Haven't I told you, you stupid Cat, that it hasn't agreed with
me ? let me go to sleep and don't plague me."
But I mean," persisted the Cat, "do you feel improved,
as the men call it ? They tell their children that if they do what
they are told they will improve, and grow good and great. Do
you feel good and great ?"
"What do I know ?" said the Dog. "I eat my breakfast and
am happy. Let me alone."
"Do you never think, 0 Dog without a soul! Do you never
wonder what dogs are, and what this world is ?"


The Dog stretched himself, and rolled his eyes lazily round
the room. "I conceive," he said, "that the world is for dogs,
and men and women are put into it to take care of dogs; women
to take care of little dogs like me, and men for the big dogs like
those in the yard-and cats," he continued, "are to know their
place, and not to be troublesome."
They beat you sometimes," said the Cat. Why do they do
that ? They never beat me."
"If they forget their places, and beat me," snarled the Dog,
"I bite them, and they don't do it again. I should like to bite
you, too, you nasty Cat; you have woke me up."
There may be truth in what you say," said the Cat, calmly;
"but I think your view is limited. If you listened like me you
would hear the men say it was all made for them, and you and I
were made to amuse them."
"They don't dare to say so," said the Dog.
"They do, indeed," said the Cat. "I hear many things which
you lose by sleeping so much. They think I am asleep, and so
they are not afraid to talk before me; but my ears are open when
my eyes are shut."
"You surprise me," said the Dog. "I never listen to them,
except when I take notice of them, and lthen they never talk of
anything except of me."
"I could tell you a thing or two about yourself which you
don't know," said the Cat. "You have never heard, I dare say,
that once upon a time your fathers lived in a temple, and that
people prayed to them."


Prayed! what is that ?"
Why, they went on their knees to you to ask you to give
them good things, just as you stand on your toes to them now to
ask for your breakfast. You don't know either that you have got
one of those bright things we see up in the air at night called
after you."
"Well, it is just what I said," answered the Dog. "I told
you it was all made for us. They never did anything of that
sort for you ?"
"Didn't they ? Why, there was a whole city where the people
did nothing else, and as soon as we got stiff and couldn't move
about any more, instead of being put under the ground like poor
Tom, we used to be stuffed full of all sorts of nice things, and
kept better than we were when we were alive.".
"You are a very wise Cat," answered her companion; "but
what good is it knowing all this ?"
"Why, don't you see," said she, "they don't do it any more.
We are going down in the world, we are, and that, is why living
on in this way is such an unsatisfactory sort of thing. I don't
mean to complain for myself, and you needn't, Dog; we have
a quiet life of it; but a quiet life is not the thing, and if there
is nothing to be done except sleep and eat, and eat and sleep,
why, as I said before, I don't see the use of it. There is some-
thing more in it than that; there was once, and there will be
again, and I sha'n't be happy till I find it out. It is a shame,
Dog, I say. The men have been here only a few thousand years,
and we-why, we have been here hundreds of thousands; if we

i A -


-'^ ... -" .. .,^, .. JB

wsjomizs q 0o'ISaiake)oq ;"l s o Lse ke arih- ra Aih k yo.


are older, we ought to be wiser. I11 go and ask the creatures
in the wood."
"You'11 learn more from the men," said the Dog.
"They are stupid, and they don't know what I say to them;
besides, they are so conceited they care for nothing except them-
selves. No, I shall try what I can do in the woods. I'd as soon
go after poor Tom as stay living any longer like this."
"And where is poor Tom ?" yawned the Dog.
"That is just one of the things I want to know," answered
she. "Poor Tom is lying under the yard, or the skin of him,
but whether that is the whole I don't feel so sure. They didn't
think so in the city I told you about. It is a beautiful day,
Dog; you won't take a trot out with me ?" she added, wistfully.
"Who ? I said the Dog. "Not quite."
"You may get so wise," said she.
"Wisdom is good," said the Dog; "but so is the hearth-rug,
thank you!"
"But you may be free," said she.
"I shall have to hunt for my own dinner," said he.
"But, Dog, they may pray to you again," said she.
"But I sha'n't have a softer mat to sleep upon, Cat, and as
I am rather delicate, that is a consideration."



SO the Dog wouldn't go, and the Cat set off by herself to
learn how to be happy, and to be all that a Cat could
be. It was a fine sunny morning. She determined to try the
meadow first, and, after an hour or two, if she had not succeeded,
then to go off to the wood. A Blackbird was piping away on
a thornbush as if his heart was running over with happiness.
The Cat had breakfasted, and so was able to listen without any
mixture of feeling. She didn't sneak. She walked boldly up
under the bush, and the bird, seeing she had no bad purpose,
sat still and sung on.
"Good-morning, Blackbird; you seem to be enjoying your-
self this fine day."
"Good-morning, Cat."
"Blackbird, it is an odd question, perhaps. What ought one
to do to be as happy as you ?"
Do your duty, Cat."
"But what is my duty, Blackbird ?"
"Take care of your little ones, Cat."
"I haven't any," said she.
"Then sing to your mate," said the bird.
"Tom is dead," said she.

'- .., .:. j

',- .: .. r ,. .:... .. ..

I "o,

~~~~T .L. .',..,,
Ab- P.'

oL~rdL~pae- s& d O
W Y ,,
,': , _. -

P ,... ~~ ---
,, ., , ,. .
j~~Z~~ -'I~


A-,~ Jru -..--,-,: -tn

CC~~~~~CLLr yow Intr d+h x
,, , .-.? _, .
.. ..~ .,, + ,. ,. ,..; .,,

B i,+lt i


"Poor Cat!" said the bird. "Then sing over his grave. If
your song is sad, you will find your heart grow lighter for it."
"Mercy!" thought the Cat. "I could do a little singing
with a living lover, but I never heard of singing for a dead one.
But you see, bird, it isn't Cats' nature. When I am cross, I
mew. When I am pleased, I purr; but I must be pleased first.
I can't purr myself into happiness."
"I am afraid there is something the matter with your heart,
my Cat. It wants warming; goodbye."
The Blackbird flew away. The Cat looked sadly after him.
"He thinks I am like him; and he doesn't know that a Cat is
a Cat," said she. "As it happens now, I feel a great deal for a
Cat. If I hadn't got a heart, I shouldn't be unhappy. I won't
be angry. I'11 try that great fat fellow."
The Ox lay placidly chewing, with content beaming out of
his eyes and playing on his mouth.
Ox," she said, what is the way to be happy ?"
"Do your duty," said the Ox.
"Bother," said the Cat, "duty again! What is it, Ox ?"
"Get your dinner," said the Ox.
"But it is got for me, Ox; and I have nothing to do but
to eat it."
"Well, eat it, then, like me."
So I do; but I am not happy for all that."
"Then you are a very wicked, ungrateful Cat."
The Ox munched away. A Bee buzzed into a buttercup under
the Cat's nose.


"I beg your pardon," said the Cat, "it isn't curiosity-what
are you doing ?"
"Doing my duty; don't stop me, Cat."
"But, Bee, what is your duty ?"
"Making honey," said the Bee.
"I wish I could make honey," sighed the Cat.
"Do you mean to say you can't?" said the Bee. "How
stupid you must be! What do you do, then?"
"I do nothing, Bee. I can't get anything to do."
"You won't get anything to do, you mean, you lazy Cat!
You are a good-for-nothing drone. Do you know what we do
to our drones ? We kill them; and that is all they are fit for.
Good-morning to you."
"Well, I am sure," said the Cat, "they are treating me civilly;
I had better have stopped at home at this rate. Stroke my
whiskers! heartless! wicked! good-for-nothing! stupid! and only
fit to be killed! This is a pleasant beginning, anyhow. I must
look for some wiser creatures than these are. What shall I do ?
I know. I know where I will go."
It was in the middle of the wood. The bush was very dark,
but she found him by his wonderful eye. Presently, as she got
used to the light, she distinguished a sloping roll of feathers, a
rounded breast, surmounted by a round head, set close to the
body, without an inch of a neck intervening. "How wise he
looks!" she said; "what a brain! what a forehead! His head
is not long, but what an expanse! and what a depth of earnest-
ness! The Owl sloped his head a little on one side; the Cat

1 '... ,V
... s ., ,. .,
... .. v / ..,

," .' 1.;/:' ,v -.. ,- ;; -
,/ ': ,. .L .
...K )
li / ,>
a. I I

,\v I x

..- .... .
NC4 -, t
4I -
t .V '. c yw. kow, Jt"'il

; ( "f f i. "T -" "s

" .n.c u t w oc ija "no, -L .-aLL ?it .r '. Ll -t -
- ',
' ,: t ~", ;.: ..
'" :i -
,,',, $:ll " i
,:. ,. ,f.
... ..; i-. -:\ ,
. tlc... It " ' r""-;
.,X <"r L"


slanted hers upon the other. The Owl set it straight again, the
Cat did the same. They stood looking in this way for some
minutes; at last, in a whispering voice, the Owl said, "What
are you, who presume to look into my repose ? Pass on upon your
way, and carry elsewhere those prying eyes."
0 wonderful Owl," said the Cat, you are wise, and I want
to be wise; and I am come to you to teach me."
A film floated backwards and forwards over the Owl's eyes;
it was his way of showing that he was pleased.
"I have heard in our schoolroom," went on the Cat, "that you
sat on the shoulder of Pallas, and she told you all about it."
"And what would you know, 0 my daughter ?" said the Owl.
Everything," said the Cat, everything. First of all, how to
be happy."
"Mice content you not, my child, even as they content not
me," said the Owl. It is good."
"Mice, indeed!" said the Cat; "no, Parlour Cats don't eat
mice. I have better than mice, and no trouble to get it; but I
want something more."
The body's meat is provided. You would now fill your soul."
I want to improve," said the Cat. "I want something to do.
I want to find out what the creatures call my duty."
You would learn how to employ those happy hours of
your leisure-rather how to make them happy by a worthy use.
Meditate, 0 Cat! meditate! meditate!"
That is the very thing," said she. Meditate! that is what
I like above all things. Only I want to know how: I want


something to meditate about. Tell me, Owl, and I will bless you
every hour of the day as I sit by the parlour fire."
"I will tell you," answered the Owl, what I have been
thinking of ever since the moon changed. You shall take it
home with you and think about it too; and the next full moon
you shall come again to me; we will compare our conclusions."
Delightful! delightful !" said the Cat. What is it ? I will
try this minute."
"From the beginning," replied the Owl, our race have been
considering which first existed, the Owl or the egg. The Owl
comes from the egg, but likewise the egg from the Owl."
"Mercy!" said the Cat.
"From sunrise to sunset I ponder on it, 0 Cat! When I
reflect on the beauty of the complete Owl, I think that must
have been first, as the cause is greater than the effect. When I
remember my own childhood, I incline the other way."
Well, but how are we to find out ?" said the Cat.
"Find out !" said the Owl. "We can never find out. The
beauty of the question is, that its solution is impossible. What
would become of all our delightful reasoning, O unwise Cat if
we were so unhappy as to know ?"
"But what in the world is the good of thinking about it, if
you can't, 0 Owl ?"
My child, that is a foolish question. It is good, in order
that the thoughts on these things may stimulate wonder. It is in
wonder that the Owl is great."
"Then you don't know anything at all," said the Cat. What


did you sit on Pallas's shoulder for ? You must have gone to
Your tone is over flippant, Cat, for philosophy. The highest
of all knowledge is to know that we know nothing."
The Cat made two great arches with her back and her tail.
Bless the mother that laid you," said she. You were
dropped by mistake in a goose nest. You won't do. I don't
know much, but I am not such a creature as you, anyhow. A
great white thing!"
She straightened her body, stuck her tail up on end, and
marched off with much dignity. But, though she respected her-
self rather more than before, she was not on the way to the
end of her difficulties. She tried all the creatures she met
without advancing a step. They had all the old story, Do
your duty." But each had its own, and no one could tell her
what hers was. Only one point they all agreed upon-the duty
of getting their dinner when they were hungry. The day wore
on, and she began to think she would like hers. Her meals
came so regularly at home that she scarcely knew what hunger
was; but now the sensation came over her very palpably, and
she experienced quite new emotions as the hares and rabbits
skipped about her, or as she spied a bird upon a tree. For a
moment she thought she would go back and eat the Owl-he
was the most useless creature she had seen; but on second
thoughts she didn't fancy he would be nice : besides that, his
claws were sharp and his beak too. Presently, however, as she
sauntered down the path, she came on a little open patch of


green, in the middle of which a fine fat Rabbit was sitting.
There was no escape. The path ended there, and the bushes
were so thick on each side that he couldn't get away except
through her paws.
"Really," said the Cat, "I don't wish to be troublesome; I
wouldn't do it if I could help it; but I am very hungry, I am
afraid I must eat you. It is very unpleasant, I assure you, to me
as well as to you."
The poor Rabbit begged for mercy.
"Well," said she, "I think it is hard; I do really-and, if
the law could be altered, I should be the first to welcome it.
But what can a Cat do? You eat the grass; I eat you. But,
Rabbit, I wish you would do me a favour."
"Anything to save my life," said the Rabbit.
"It is not exactly that," said the Cat; "but I haven't been
used to killing my own food, and it is disagreeable. Couldn't
you die ? I shall hurt you dreadfully if I kill you."
Oh !" said the Rabbit, you are a kind Cat; I see it in your
eyes, and your whiskers don't curl like those of the cats in the
woods. I am sure you will spare me."
"But, Rabbit, it is a question of principle. I have to do my
duty; and the only duty I have, as far as I can make out, is to
get-my dinner."
If you kill me, Cat, to do your duty, I sha'n't be able to do
It was a doubtful point, and the Cat was new to casuistry.
What is your duty ?" said she.

----- .. "

: *. \ .i! a. ."7 ..

,.-1 .Lu, a i w t


"I have seven little ones at home-seven little ones, and they
will all die without me. Pray let me go."
"What! do you take care of your children?" said the Cat.
"How interesting I should like to see that; take me."
"Oh! you would eat them, you would," said the Rabbit.
"No! better eat me than them. No, no."
Well, well," said the Cat, I don't know; I suppose I
couldn't answer for myself. I don't think I am right, for duty
is pleasant, and it is very unpleasant to be so hungry; but I
suppose you must go. You seem a good Rabbit. Are you happy,
Rabbit ?"
"Happy! oh, dear beautiful Cat! if you spare me to my poor
"Pooh, pooh!" said the Cat, peevishly; "I don't want fine
speeches; I meant whether you thought it worth while to be
alive! Of course you do! It don't matter. Go, and keep out
of my way; for, if I don't find something to eat, you may not
get off another time. Get along, Rabbit !"



T was a great day in the Fox's cave. The eldest cub had
the night before brought home his first goose, and they were
just sitting down to it as the Cat came by.
"Ah, my young lady! what, you in the woods? Bad feed-
ing at home, eh ? Come out to hunt for yourself?"
The goose smelt excellent; the Cat couldn't help a wistful
look. She was only come, she said, to pay her respects to her
wild friends.
"Just in time," said the Fox. "Sit down and take a bit of
dinner; I see you want it. Make room, you cubs; place a seat
for the lady."
"Why, thank you," said the Cat, "yes; I acknowledge it is
not unwelcome. Pray, don't disturb yourselves, young Foxes.
I am hungry. I met a Rabbit on my way here. I was going
to eat him, but he talked so prettily I let him go."
The cubs looked up from their plates, and burst out laughing.
"For shame! young rascals," said their father. "Where are
your manners ? Mind your business, and don't be rude."
"Fox," she said, when it was over, and the cubs were gone
to play, "you are very clever. The other creatures are all stupid."
The Fox bowed. "Your family were always clever," she con-
tinued. "I have heard about them in the books they use in


our schoolroom. It is many years since your ancestor stole the
crow's dinner."
"Don't say stole, Cat; it is not pretty. Obtained by superior
"I beg your pardon," said the Cat; "it is all living with those
men. That is not the point. Well, but I want to know whether
you are any wiser or any better than Foxes were then ?"
"Really," said the Fox, "I am what Nature made me. I
don't know. I am proud of my ancestors, and do my best to
keep up the credit of the family."
"Well, but Fox, I mean do you improve ? do I? do any of
you ? The men are always talking about doing their duty, and
that, they say, is the way to improve, and to be happy. And
as I was not happy, I thought that had, perhaps, something to
do with it, so I came out to talk to the creatures. They also
had the old chant-duty, duty, duty; but none of them could
tell me what mine was, or whether I had any."
The Fox smiled. "Another leaf out of your schoolroom," said
he. "Can't they tell you there ?"
"Indeed," she said, "they are very absurd. They say a great
deal about themselves, but they only speak disrespectfully of us.
If such creatures as they can do their duty, and improve, and be
happy, why can't we ?"
"They say they do, do they?" said the Fox. "What do they
say of me ?"
The Cat hesitated.
"Don't be afraid of hurting my feelings, Cat. Out with it."


"They do all justice to your abilities, Fox," said she; "but
your morality, they say, is not high. They say you are a rogue."
"Morality!" said the Fox. "Very moral and good they are!
And you really believe all that ? What do they mean by calling
me a rogue ?"
"They mean you take whatever you can get, without caring
whether it is just or not."
My dear Cat, it is very well for a man, if he can't bear his
own face, to paint a pretty one on a panel and call it a looking-
glass; but you don't mean that it takes you in."
"Teach me," said the Cat. "I fear I am weak."
"Who get justice from the men unless they can force it?
Ask the sheep that are cut into mutton. Ask the horses that
draw their ploughs. I don't mean it is wrong of the men to do
as they do ; but they needn't lie about it."
"You surprise me," said the Cat.
"My good Cat, there is but one law in the world. The
weakest goes to the wall. The men are sharper-witted than the
creatures, and so they get the better of them and use them. They
may call it just if they like; but when a tiger eats a man I guess
he has just as much justice on his side as the man when he
eats a sheep."
"And that is the whole of it," said the Cat. "Well, it is
very sad. What do you do with yourself?"
My duty, to be sure," said the Fox; "use my wits and enjoy
myself. My dear friend, you and I are on the lucky side. We
eat and are not eaten."

.... . .
I S .t -- '

,-"^ '
. K -.-' .-'., ... .* .... .. -.

.... T

-- C '


"Except by the hounds now and then," said the Cat.
"Yes; by brutes that forget their nature, and sell their free-
dom to the men," said the Fox, bitterly. "In the meantime my
wits have kept my skin whole hitherto, and I bless Nature for
making me a Fox and not a goose."
"And are you happy, Fox ?"
"Happy! yes, of course. So would you be if you would do
like me, and use your wits. My good Cat, I should be as miser-
able as you if I found my geese every day at the cave's mouth.
I have to hunt for them, lie for them, sneak for them, fight for
them; cheat those old fat farmers, and bring out what there is
inside me; and then I am happy-of course I am. And then,
Cat, think of my feelings as a father last night, when my dear
boy came home with the very young gosling which was marked
for the Michaelmas dinner! Old Reineke himself wasn't more
than a match for that young Fox at his years. You know our
epic ?"
"A little of it, Fox. They don't read it in our schoolroom.
They say it is not moral; but I have heard pieces of it. I hope
it is not all quite true."
"Pack of stuff! it is the only true book that ever was written.
If it is not, it ought to be. Why, that book is the law of the
world-la carriare aux talents-and writing it was the honestest
thing ever done by a man. That fellow knew a thing or two,
and wasn't ashamed of himself when he did know. They are
all like him, too, if they would only say so. There never was
one of them yet who wasn't more ashamed of being called ugly


than of being called a rogue, and of being called stupid than
of being called naughty."
"It has a roughish end, this life of yours, if you keep clear
of the hounds, Fox," said the Cat.
"What! a rope in the yard! Well, it must end some day;
and when the farmer catches me I shall be getting old, and my
brains will be taking leave of me; so the sooner I go the better,
that I may disgrace myself the less. Better be jolly while it
lasts, than sit mewing out your life and grumbling at it as a
"Well," said the Cat, "I am very much obliged to you. I
suppose I may even get home again. I shall not find a wiser
friend than you, and perhaps I shall not find another good-natured
enough to entertain me so handsomely. But it is very sad."
"Think of what I have said," answered the Fox. "I'll call
at your house some night; you will take me a walk round the
yard, and then I'11 show you."
"Not quite," thought the Cat, as she trotted off; "one good
turn deserves another, that is true; and you have given me a
dinner. But they have given me many at home, and I mean
to take a few more of them; so I think you mustn't go round
our yard."



THE next morning, when the Dog came down to breakfast,
he found his old friend sitting in her usual place on the
Oh! so you have come back," said he. How d'ye do?
You don't look as if you had had a very pleasant journey."
"I have learnt something," said the Cat. Knowledge is
never pleasant."
Then it is better to be without it," said the Dog.
"Especially, better to be without knowing how to stand on
one's hind legs, Dog," said the Cat; still you see, you are proud
of it; but I have learnt a great deal, Dog. They won't worship
you any more, and it is better for you; you wouldn't be any
happier. What did you do yesterday ?"
"Indeed," said the Dog, "I hardly remember. I slept after
you went away. In the afternoon I took a drive in the carriage.
Then I had my dinner. My maid washed me and put me to bed.
There is the difference between you and me; you have to wash
yourself and put yourself to bed."
"And you really don't find it a bore, living like this ?
Wouldn't you like something to do ? Wouldn't you like some
children to play with ? The Fox seemed to find it very pleasant."


Children, indeed !" said the Dog, when I have got men and
women. Children are well enough for foxes and wild creatures;
refined dogs know better; and, for doing-can't I stand on my
toes ? can't I dance ? at least, couldn't I before I was so fat ?"
Ah I see everybody likes what he was bred to," sighed the
Cat. I was bred to do nothing, and I must like that. Train the
cat as the cat should go, and the cat will be happy and ask
no questions. Never seek for impossibilities, Dog. That is the
"And you have spent a day in the woods to learn that," said
he. "I could have taught you that. Why, Cat, one day when
you were sitting scratching your nose before the fire, I thought
you looked so pretty that I should have liked to marry you; but
I knew I couldn't, so I didn't make myself miserable."
The Cat looked at him with her odd green eyes. "I never
wished to marry you, Dog; I shouldn't have presumed. But it
was wise of you not to fret about it. Listen to me, Dog-
listen. I met many creatures in the wood, all sorts of creatures,
beasts and birds. They were all happy; they didn't find it a
bore. They went about their work, and did it, and enjoyed it,
and yet none of them had the same story to tell. Some did one
thing, some another; and, except the Fox, each had got a sort
of notion of doing its duty. The Fox was a rogue; he said
he was; but yet he was not unhappy. His conscience never
troubled him. Your work is standing on your toes, and you
are happy. I have none, and this is why I am unhappy. When
I came to think about it, I found every creature out in the


wood had to get its own living. I tried to get mine, but I
didn't like it, because I wasn't used to it; and as for knowing,
the Fox, who didn't care to know anything except how to cheat
greater fools than himself, was the cleverest fellow I came across.
Oh! the Owl, Dog-you should have heard the Owl. But I
came to this, that it was no use trying to know, and the only
way to be jolly was to go about one's own business like a decent
Cat. Cats' business seems to be killing rabbits and such-like;
and it is not the pleasantest possible; so the sooner one is bred
to it the better. As for me, that have been bred to do nothing,
why, as I said before, I must try to like that; but I consider
myself an unfortunate Cat."
So don't I consider myself an unfortunate Dog," said her
Very likely you do not," said the Cat.
By this time their breakfast was come in. The Cat ate hers,
the Dog did penance for his; and if one might judge by the
purring on the hearth-rug, the Cat, if not the happiest of the two,
at least was not exceedingly miserable.


" -N .

.t. r ,


.^; r

.* i-

-: b

'' *

.* .. .. ..
r. *-
.. *. .

-. .

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs