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How Tiny Hare Met Cat

from Boys And Girls Bookshelf - ANIMAL STORIES





[IN WORDS OF NOT MORE THAN FOUR LETTERS]

BY A. L. SYKES

Once, just as the long, dark time that is at the end of each day came,
Mama Hare said to Tiny Hare, who was at play,

"Come in, now, it is time for bed. You know you must hide from Man, and
Dog, and Hawk; but I must tell you that you are to hide from Cat, also."

"Who is CAT?" said Tiny Hare.

"CAT is not so big as DOG. She has soft fur and two big wild eyes."

"She is just like me," said Tiny Hare. "I have soft fur and big eyes;
then CAT is just a Hare."

"The very idea!" said Mama Hare. "You have not big wild eyes, and your
tail is not long like CAT'S. CAT is not good for a Hare to meet. She can
run very fast, and she has a claw for each toe," and she gave Tiny Hare
a wee bite.

"Does CAT live in our wood?" said Tiny Hare.



"No, she is with MAN and DOG, but she goes out in the day time or at
dark, and she can get a Tiny Hare who runs away from home when he is
too tiny."

"Am I too tiny?" said Tiny Hare. "Yes, yes, yes; far too tiny," said his
Mama; and how she did wash him from his head to his feet!

"I wish to see CAT," said Tiny Hare.

"No, no, no," said his Mama; and how she did wash his soft fur!

He did not wish to see CAT for many, many days, but one day the rain
came, and it was cold, and his Mama told him to stay at home in the dry
hay.

"I want to go with you," said Tiny Hare to his Mama and Papa when they
were to go out for food.

"It is too wet," said his Mama. "If your fur gets too wet you can't run
far and fast, and it is not safe for you to go."

"I like rain. I like the wet. I want to go out. I want to do just as I
like," said Tiny Hare, and he laid his ears back, and half shut his
eyes, and put his pink lip out, and did not look kind.

"Hush!" said Papa Hare, in a low, deep tone. And Mama Hare and Papa Hare
went away, and left Tiny Hare at home.

Do you know what Tiny Hare did then? Oh, it was not good!

"I will go to see CAT," he said, very loud. He ran out, over the damp
moss in the wet, wet wood, and, oh, dear me! up the path to the door of
MAN and CAT. The door was open. CAT sat by the fire in a box. She was
most sad, for once she had two baby cats in that box, and now they were
gone. She did not purr. She did not eat. She did not wash her soft fur.
She just sat by the fire and was sad. By and by she was so sad with no
baby cat to love that she said very low and deep: "Mew! Mew!" Tiny Hare
was so wet and so weak he just had to lie down on the step. Then CAT
saw him.

How fast she did jump out of the box, and run to the door! Tiny Hare saw
her long tail, and her big wild eyes. He shut his eyes; and how he did
wish he was at home! But CAT did not eat him. She took him in her soft
lips, and laid him in the box by the fire.

"Now she will eat me," said Tiny Hare; and how he did wish he was at
home!

Then MAN and DOG came in. MAN was wet, and had much mud on him. He took
the box away from the fire to put fresh hay in it, and then he saw Tiny
Hare. Then MAN went near the fire to get warm and dry, and DOG ran to
CAT to look at her baby cat. When he saw Tiny Hare he gave a loud bark,
"Bow-wow-wow-wow!" and his tail did not wag any more. But just as he was
to JUMP on Tiny Hare, CAT put a claw on his nose.

"Wow!" said DOG, and MAN made DOG lie down, and he came once more to
look at CAT in her box. "Well, well," said he, "a hare for a baby cat!
Do you mean to eat it, Puss?"

"Purr, purr, purr," said CAT, and Tiny Hare did not like to hear her
purr, and he said: "She will eat me now"; and how he did wish he was
at home!

CAT did not want to eat Tiny Hare, but she did want to wash him, and
play that he was her own baby cat. And she did wash him, oh, so hard,
and so much, from head to feet, and from feet to head, over and over
and over. She gave him a wee bite now and then when she felt a knot in
his wet fur.

"Wee! Wee! Wee!" said Tiny Hare, very loud and high, when she hurt him
too much, but CAT did not care, and did not stop.

By and by when Tiny Hare was warm and dry, and his fur was like silk,
MAN and DOG went out to tea; and CAT saw that the eyes of Tiny Hare were
shut, so she went out to tea. When CAT was gone, oh, how fast did Tiny
Hare jump out of the box, and run out of the door, and skip up the
long road, and leap past the wet wood, home to his Mama. The rain was
over, and the sun was warm, so he was now dry, and his fur was like
silk.

"I will be good now, Mama." "Oh, dear," said his Mama. "This is a
CAT."

"Oh, no, no, no, no, NO!" said Tiny Hare. "I am your Tiny Hare."

"Is it our Tiny Hare?" said Mama Hare to wise Papa Hare.

"Yes," said Papa Hare, "it is, but he is too much like CAT."

Tiny Hare was not glad, and he did not want to play, so he sat near his
home till the dark came. Then his Mama grew too sad for his sake, and
she came out to him. How she did rub him with moss and hay, and how
she did wash him, from his head to his feet. Tiny Hare did not like
it, but he did not say one word.

"Now, you are like my dear Tiny Hare," she said at last, and she
took him home. When it grew dark, Tiny Hare said: "I am your Tiny Hare,
and I will be good now," and Papa Hare said, "Yes, I am sure you
will," and gave the ear of Tiny Hare a wee bite for love.

Then Mama Hare put her ears down, and Papa Hare put his ears down,
and Tiny Hare put his ears down, and they all took a long, long nap
till the dawn.





Next: The Wee Hare And The Red Fire

Previous: A Story For Very Little Folk To Read No Word In It Has More Than Four Letters



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