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So the cunning old Cat lay down on a mat
"If the little Mice peep, they'll think I'm asleep";
"Squeak," said the little Mouse, "we'll creep out
And eat some Cheshire cheese,
That silly old Cat is asleep on the mat,
And we may sup at our ease."
Nibble, nibble, nibble, went all the little Mice,
And they licked their little paws;
Then the cunning old Cat sprang up from the mat,
The Last Dying Speech and Confession of Poor Puss
"KIND masters and misses, whoever you be,
Do stop for a moment and pity poor me!
My dear Mother Tabby I've often heard say,
Poor thoughtless young thing! if I recollect right,
But this chilly spring I got pretty well over,
But, ah! my poor tail, and my pretty sleek ears!
Some time after this, when the places were healed,
Ah me! how I struggled my freedom to gain,
From this dreadful morning my sorrows arose !
And then the great dog! I shall never forget him;
Cry, 'Hey, cat!' and 'Seize her, boy! give her a shake!'
Sometimes, when so hungry I could not forbear
But kicking, and beating, and starving, and that,
One morning, laid safe in a warm little bed,
I was never so happy, I think, nor so proud,
I mewed to my kittens, and purred out aloud,
And thought with delight of the merry carousing
We'd have, when I first took them with me a-mousing.
But how shall I tell you the sorrowful ditty?
For the very next morning my darlings I found
Lying dead by the horse-pond, all mangled and drowned.
Poor darlings, I dragged them along to the stable,
However, time gave me a little relief,
Miss Fanny was fond of a little canary,
That tempted me more than mouse, pantry, or dairy;
I flew to the bird-cage, and tore it away.
Now tell me, my friends, was the like ever heard,
Indeed I can say, with my paw on my heart,
Be this as it may, when my supper was o'er,
But I feel that my breathing grows shorter apace,
The Three Little Pigs
A JOLLY old sow once lived in a sty,
And three little piggies had she;
And she waddled about, saying, "Umph! umph! umph!"
While the little ones said, "Wee! wee!"
"My dear little brothers," said one of the brats,
"My dear little piggies," said he;
"Let us all for the future say, 'Umph! umph! umph!' 'Tis so childish to say, 'Wee! wee!'"
Then these little pigs grew skinny and lean,
And lean they might very well be ;
For somehow they couldn't say, "Umph! umph! umph!"
And they wouldn't say, "Wee! wee! wee!"
So after a time these little pigs died,
They all died of felo de se;
From trying too hard to say, "Umph! umph! umph!" When they only could say, "Wee! wee!"
A moral there is to this little song,
A moral that's easy to see;
Don't try while yet young to say, "Umph! umph! umph!" For you only can say, "Wee! wee!"
A. S. Scott-Gatty.
Dame Duck's First Lecture on Education
OLD Mother Duck has hatched a brood
Of ducklings, small and callow;
Their little wings are short, their down