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"A greater danger befell me on meeting a number of boys returning home from school. They came all around me before I was aware, and obliged me to take refuge in a tree; but I soon found that a poor defence against such enemies, for they threw stones on all sides, so that I could not avoid receiving many hard blows, one of which brought me senseless to the ground. The biggest boy now seized me, and proposed to the rest to have what he called some rare sport with me. This sport was, to tie me to a large stone, and throw me into the pond, when they could amuse themselves with watching my attempts to get to the side, in order to save myself from being drowned. Already I was tied to the stone, and they were just going to throw me in, when a policeman appeared, and the boys scampered away, leaving me on the ground. The policeman cut the string which bound me to the stone, and I ran home as quick as I could, counting myself fortunate that my life was spared.
"The next remarkable event in my life, was the occasion of my removal from the country. My mistress's brother had a tame linnet, of which he was very fond, for it would come and light upon his shoulders when he called it, and feed out of his hand, and it sung well besides. This bird was usually either in its cage, or on a very high perch; but one unlucky day, when he and I were in the room together, he came down on the table to pick up crumbs. I spied him, and not being able to resist the temptation, sprang at him, and
catching him in my claws, soon began to devour him. I had almost finished eating him, when his master came into the room, and seeing me with the remains of the poor linnet in my mouth, he ran to me in the greatest fury, and after chasing me several times round the room, at last caught me. He was going at once to hang me, when his sister, by many entreaties and tears, persuaded him to give me a good whipping and let me go. She promised, if he would consent to this, I should be sent away. The next market day, therefore, I was placed in the carrier's cart, and sent to a relation of theirs in this town, who wanted a good cat, as the house was overrun with mice.
"In the service of this family, I continued a good while, catching the mice very eagerly, so that the family held me in great esteem as an excellent cat. I soon became acquainted with all the particulars of a town life, and was very active in climbing up walls and houses, and jumping from roof to roof, either in pursuit of prey, or to gossip with my neighbours. Once, however, I had nearly suffered for this practice, for having made a great jump from one house to another, I lighted upon a loose tile, which giving way with me, I fell from a vast height into the street, and should certainly have been killed, had I not been caught in a mudcart, whence I escaped, covered over with mire and dirt.
"There were a number of pigeons not many doors from my new home, which I often thought would be delicious eating. One night, I leapt
down from a roof upon a board with some pigeon holes, which led to a garret where the pigeons lived. I entered, and finding them asleep, made sad havoc among all that were within my reach, killing and sucking the blood of nearly a dozen. When I had finished and wished to return, I found it was impossible to leap back to the roof from which I came down. After several dangerous trials, I was obliged to wait trembling in the place where I had committed all these murders till the owner came up in the morning to feed his pigeons. I rushed out between his legs as soon as the door was opened, and had the good fortune to get safe downstairs, and make my escape through a window unknown.
"My adventures here, since that time have been few, for after the monkey had bit off the last joint of my tail (for which offence, I am glad to say, he was soundly punished), I kept beyond the length of his chain, and neither the parrot nor the lap dog ever dared to molest me. One of the
greatest sorrows I have felt, was the stifling of a whole litter of my kittens by a fat old lady, who sat down in the chair where they lay, and never perceived the mischief she was doing till she rose, though I pulled her clothes, and used all the means in my power to show the trouble I was in."
Having thus recounted her history, Grimalkin became speechless, and shortly afterwards expired, to the great grief of the family.
THE HITCHEN MAY-DAY SONG.
Remember us poor Mayers all!
To lead our lives in righteousness,
We have been rambling all the night,
And now returned back again,
We have brought you a branch of May.
It is but a sprout, but it's well budded out
The hedges and trees they are so green,
Our heavenly Father, He watered them
The heavenly gates are open wide,
He may return again.
The life of man is but a span,
He flourishes like a flower;
We are here to-day and gone to-morrow,
And we are dead in an hour.
The moon shines bright and the stars give light A little before it is day;
So God bless you all, both great and small,
And send you a joyful May !
(From Hans Christian Anderson's Tales for Children. )
In the country, close to the road-side, stands a beautiful house, in the front of which is a garden, which though not large is very pretty, full of all sorts of flowers, and separated from the fields by a newly-painted railing. Close to the railing, at the edge of a ditch and in the most beautiful green grass, there grew a little daisy. This daisy, you know, would not have been allowed to grow in the garden; but outside the railings, in the green field, nobody minded it growing there. The sun shone on it, and warmed it and cheered it, quite as much as he did the finest flowers in the garden, and so it grew stronger from hour to hour.
One morning it appeared quite in bloom, with its tender, bright little leaves like rays from the yellow sun which shined round them. It never thought that here outside the garden, in the midst of the green grass, no one minded or admired it, and that it was a poor little despised flower. It felt quite happy to be able to turn its pretty face to the sun, and to hear the lark sing his songs of the spring high up in the blue air.
The poor little daisy felt as happy as if it were a high feast day, though it was no more than a common Monday. The children were all at school; and while they sat on their forms, learning their lessons, the little flower sat on its slender green stalk, learning its lessons also, for the dear sun, and all the bright things around it, taught it how