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The Spider and the Fly
“WILL you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider

to the Fly,
“'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are

there." “Oh no, no," said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain ; For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down

again."

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“I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high; Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the

Fly. “There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are

fine and thin ; And if you like to rest a while, I'll snugly tuck you in!” “Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I've often heard it

said, They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed !”

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Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend, what can

I do
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you ?

I have, within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome-will you please to take a

slice ?
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

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“Sweet creature,” said the Spider, "you're witty and you're

wise ; How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your

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eyes !

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I have a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf;
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold your-

self."
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you're pleased

to say,

And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon be back again ;
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing, -
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver

wing;
Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your

head; Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as

lead."

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Alas, alas ! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by :
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer

drew,

Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple

hue; Thinking only of her crested head-poor foolish thing! At

last, Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast. He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den Within his little parlour—but she ne'er came out again !

Mary Howitt.

*

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FIVE little pussy-cats, invited out to tea,

, Cried : “Mother, let us go—Oh, do! for good we'll

surely be. We'll wear our bibs and hold our things as you have shown

us howSpoons in right paws, cups in left—and make a pretty bow; We'll always say “Yes, if you please,' and 'Only half of

that.'»

"

“Then go, my darling children," said the happy Mother

Cat. The five little pussy-cats went out that night to tea, Their heads were smooth and glossy, their tails were swing

ing free; They held their things as they had learned, and tried to be

polite;With snowy bibs beneath their chins they were a pretty

sight. But, alas, for manners beautiful, and coats as so The moment that the little kits were asked to take some

milk,

as silk !

* Four lines of advice omitted.

1

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They dropped their spoons, forgot to bow, and—oh, what

think? They put their noses in the cups and all began to drink ! Yes, every naughty little kit set up a miou for more, Then knocked the tea-cups over, and scampered through the door.

F. E. Weatherley.

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Pussy-Cat
PUSSY-CAT lives in the servants' hall,

-, She can set up her back, and purr; The little Mice live in a crack in the wall,

But they hardly dare venture to stir ;

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For whenever they think of taking the air,

Or filling their little maws,
The Pussy-Cat says, “Come out, if you dare;

I will catch you all with my claws.”

Scrabble, scrabble, scrabble, went all the little Mice,

For they smelt the Cheshire cheese ; The Pussy-Cat said, "It smells very nice,

Now do come out, if you please.”

“Squeak," said the little Mouse ; “Squeak, squeak, squeak,”

Said all the young ones too ; “We never creep out when cats are about,

Because we're afraid of you.

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