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THE VENTURESOME RAT.

from Cinderella The Little Glass Slipper





He was a fine young rat and lived with his father and mother,
and brothers and sisters in a farm-cellar.

Now this young rat was not of a very quiet disposition. In fact
he was quite gay, and thought the life in the farm-cellar was
very dull and stupid and longed to see more of the world.

He sat near his father and mother one day when they were
entertaining a caller, a stranger who seemed to have travelled
all over the world, and told in a very interesting manner of the
many wonderful things he had seen. "Why," said the caller, "how
you can be contented to live as you do I cannot imagine, and to
bring up your children in such ignorance fills me with surprise.
They would learn more in one night prowling through the big house
to which this farm belongs than they will learn here for the rest
of their lives."

After this caller had taken his leave, the young rat decided that
he would venture forth himself. He would that very night visit
the big house and see what was to be seen there. He pretended to
cuddle down on his own bed, and go sound asleep. He was really
watching his parents out of the corners of his wicked eyes, and
as soon as they were sound asleep, off he started. He found his
way to the house much more easily than he had expected; in short,
almost before he could believe it, he was in a fine great pantry.
A pantry whose shelves were covered with such good things to eat
as he had never seen. Rich cake, pies, cookies, and cheese such
as he had heard the caller describe. The first nibble fairly
melted in his mouth.

After he had eaten his fill he began looking about the pantry for
other means of amusement. Suddenly he saw a curious thing; it
seemed to be a little house or hut made of wire. Inside the hut
was a piece of cheese. "I really think I have eaten enough," said
the young rat, "but if that cheese is so fine that it is kept in
a house by itself it must be very fine indeed." With these words
he- crawled into the hole in the side of the hut and ate the
cheese, but when, later, he tried to get out he could not to save
his life.

Hours and hours he remained there until the night passed, and the
day came. Indeed he had fallen into a little nap when he was
awakened by a loud cry. Some one was shouting, "we've caught the
rascal at last, now we'll drown him."

The poor little fellow knew they were wrong; he could not be the
rascal they meant, for this was the first time he had ever been
in the house. At that moment a boy's voice was heard to say. "Let
me see him. No, you shall not drown him. I will tame him if I
can."

And so it came about that the young rat did see a good deal of
the world, but how? THROUGH THE BARS OF A CAGE.





Next: THE BEARS' FEAST.

Previous: A VALENTINE PARTY.



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