« 上一頁繼續 »
deen eetCtna die&mny t/iutflecocK
dealc/i <x>na<rfei dilattinv Aeacocn
TOMMY GKOWS IN WISDOM.
Master Tommy was not all flay and no work, as you might fancy. For he now and then perched on Miss Bessy's head and sang her one of the finest songs you ever heard. Ah! show me the bird that could match Tommy as a songster.
A gentleman who used to visit the house was very fond of Tommy, and so was Tommy of him. Master Tom always looked out for some fun wheu he came in, and his pet game was Shuttle-cock.
The gentleman would say, "Ha! Tommy! Good morning to you. Are you ready for a game at shutthrcock?" Then Tommy would fly to his hand and allow himself to be thrown into the air, like that toy. Presently he would fall down on the hand again, and so on. When he had enough, he would fly along the ceiling from side to side, singing all the while as no other bird can sing.
Tommy was also fond of playing "Hide and seek," and for this game he chose the second of the three sisters. She would say, "Now Tommy, I'm going to hide!" Then she would go behind the half-open door and cry, Whoop! Tommy would presently begin his search, strutting up and down and peering here and there, stretching out his neck when he came to a corner.
When he found her, he would give a screnm and fly at her hair, and show every sign of joy. Next she would say, "Now Tommy it is your turn to hide!" And away he would go under a chair or table, and stand quite still. Then she would go about saying, "Where is Tommy? Did anyone see Tommy?" And at last, when she thought proper to find him, he would fly up at her hair as before.
When he perched on Miss Bessy's head, he would strut about with outstretched wings, like a little peacock, then walk gently down over her face and shoulders with his tail spread like a fan, singing a song quite different from his song of the skies.
veafcta itMon dayactY/e. /lalfattiai
THE LAST DAYS OF TOMMY.
It would fill a volume to tell of all the little tricks that Tommy was master of. But there was one peculiarity which it would be unfair to his memory to pass over. This was the tact he showed in treating each person in a particular way.
When he alighted on the table after dinner, he would go his round, doing a different thing to everyone; he would bite the fingers of one, and fly away as if he ex-pected a beating. Then he would alight on the next, and give her a kiss; a song to the next; then fly at a cap or a ribbon; then seize a curl of another, and flutter round the face with the end of the curl in his mouth; pluck out the combs of another; and so forth.
The youngest of the sisters had a habit of going up to his cage, with her candle, before going to bed; and saying, "good night!" Tommy would in-stanHy bring his head out from under his wing and warble a sweet song—one, too, that he never sung at any other time. If she happened to leave without bidding him "good night," he would scream out until she came back. Oddly enough, he would sing this song to none of the others, though he had no objection to answering their "good night" with a chirp.
Thus Master Tommy lived for thirteen years, growing in sag'acity, and charming his friends. He had many hair-breadth escapes, to be sure, from that enemy of all little birds, the cat. But Master Tom was born under a lucky star.
At length, age crept on apace, and he fell ill. He had to be fed with soft food; he lost his spirits, and his feathers dropt off one by one. Tommy's place was now by the side of the fire, and there he pined away.
One evening, the young lady who used to bid him "good night," happened to go up as of old. Poor Tommy partly raised himself and tried to sing the farewell song; but alas! his little throat would not act and he dropt again on his woolly bed. The young lady burst into tears and rushed away. Next morning, Tommy was found dead.
ZiotMe cnance aauaMei
alcwnea tntttc/iance tia/raM/i
LIFE OP A CAT, WRITTEN BY HERSELF.
I AM SAVED FROM A WATERY GRAVE.
I Was born at a farm-house in a village some miles from here. Almost as soon as I came into the world, I was on the point of leaving it again. My mother had five of us at a litter; and as the people of the house only kept cats to be useful, and were already stocked, we were doomed to be at once drowned. So a boy was ordered to take us all and throw us into the horsend.
This he did with the pleasure boys seem to take in acts of cnrelty, and we were presently set a swimming. While we were struggling for life, a little girl, daughter to the farmer, came running to the pond side. She begged very hard to save one of us, and bring it up as her own. The boy, reaching out his arm, took hold of me, who was luckily nearest him, and brought me out when I was just spent. I was laid on the grass and it was some time before I got well.
The girl then gave me to my mother, who was very glad to get back one of her little ones. But for fear of another misxhance, she took me in her mouth to a dark hole, where she kept me till I could see, and was able to run by her side. As soon as I came to light again, my little mispress took me, and tended me very carefully. Her fondness, indeed, was sometimes trouble'some, as she pinched my sides with carrying me, and once or twice hurt me a good deal by letting me fall. Soon, however, I became strong and active, and played and jumped all day long, to the great delight of my mistress and her companions.
dtlaygfel ccutant tauant ioua/uu
I LEARN TO EARN MY BREAD.
At this time I had another narrow escape. A man brought into the house a strange dog, who had been taught to worry all the cats that came in his way. My mother slunk away; but I, thinking, like a little fool as I was, that I was able to take care of myself, staid on the floor, puffing, and setting up my back by way of looking bold.
The dog instantly ran at me, and before I could get my claws ready, seized me with his mouth, and began to gripe and shake me most terribly. I screamed out, and by good luck my mistress was within hearing. She ran to us, but was not able to free me. However, a servant, seeing her distress, took a great stick, and gave the dog such a bang on his back that he was forced to let me go. He had used me so roughly that I was not able to stand for some time; but by-and-bye I got well again.
I was now running after every body's heels, and it was in this way that I got one day locked up in the dairy. I was not sorry for this, thinking to feast upon the cream and other good things. But having climbed up a shelf to get at a bowl of cream, I unluckily fell backwards into a large dish of butter-milk. I should probably have been drowned, had not the maid heard the noise, and come to see what was the matter. She took me out, scolding me, and after keeping me a long time under the pump to clean me, she sent me away with a good whipping. I took care never to follow her into the dairy again.
After a while I began to get into the yard, and my mother took me into the barn to teach me to catch mice. I shall never forget the pleasure this gave me. We sat by a hole, and presently out came a mouse with a brood of young ones. My mother darted among them, and first killed the old one, and then pursued the little ones, who ran about squeaking in a dread'ful fright. I now thought it was time for me to do something, and accordingly ran after a straggler, and soon overtook it. Oh! how proud was I, as I stood over my trembling cap'tive, and patted him with my paws!
My pride, however, soon met with a check; for seeing one day a large rat. I boldly flew at him.