: For Classes Ii. And Iii.
: Children Stories To Tell

Once there was a cat, and a parrot. And they had agreed to ask each other

to dinner, turn and turn about: first the cat should ask the parrot, then

the parrot should invite the cat, and so on. It was the cat's turn first.

Now the cat was very mean. He provided nothing at all for dinner except a

pint of milk, a little slice of fish, and a biscuit. The parrot was too

polite to complain, but he did not have a very good t

When it was his turn to invite the cat, he cooked a fine dinner. He had a

roast of meat, a pot of tea, a basket of fruit, and, best of all, he baked

a whole clothes-basketful of little cakes!--little, brown, crispy, spicy

cakes! Oh, I should say as many as five hundred. And he put four hundred

and ninety-eight of the cakes before the cat, keeping only two for


Well, the cat ate the roast, and drank the tea, and sucked the fruit, and

then he began on the pile of cakes. He ate all the four hundred and

ninety-eight cakes, and then he looked round and said:--

"I'm hungry; haven't you anything to eat?"

"Why," said the parrot, "here are my two cakes, if you want them?"

The cat ate up the two cakes, and then he licked his chops and said, "I am

beginning to get an appetite; have you anything to eat?"

"Well, really," said the parrot, who was now rather angry, "I don't see

anything more, unless you wish to eat me!" He thought the cat would be

ashamed when he heard that--but the cat just looked at him and licked his

chops again,--and slip! slop! gobble! down his throat went the parrot!

Then the cat started down the street. An old woman was standing by, and

she had seen the whole thing, and she was shocked that the cat should eat

his friend. "Why, cat!" she said, "how dreadful of you to eat your friend

the parrot!"

"Parrot, indeed!" said the cat. "What's a parrot to me?--I've a great mind

to eat you, too." And--before you could say "Jack Robinson"--slip! slop!

gobble! down went the old woman!

Then the cat started down the road again, walking like this, because he

felt so fine. Pretty soon he met a man driving a donkey. The man was

beating the donkey, to hurry him up, and when he saw the cat he said, "Get

out of my way, cat; I'm in a hurry and my donkey might tread on you."

"Donkey, indeed!" said the cat, "much I care for a donkey! I have eaten

five hundred cakes, I've eaten my friend the parrot, I've eaten an old

woman,--what's to hinder my eating a miserable man and a donkey?"

And slip! slop! gobble! down went the old man and the donkey.

Then the cat walked on down the road, jauntily, like this. After a little,

he met a procession, coming that way. The king was at the head, walking

proudly with his newly married bride, and behind him were his soldiers,

marching, and behind them were ever and ever so many elephants, walking

two by two. The king felt very kind to everybody, because he had just been

married, and he said to the cat, "Get out of my way, pussy, get out of my

way,--my elephants might hurt you."

"Hurt me!" said the cat, shaking his fat sides. "Ho, ho! I've eaten five

hundred cakes, I've eaten my friend the parrot, I've eaten an old woman,

I've eaten a man and a donkey; what's to hinder my eating a beggarly


And slip! slop! gobble! down went the king; down went the queen; down went

the soldiers,--and down went all the elephants!

Then the cat went on, more slowly; he had really had enough to eat, now.

But a little farther on he met two land-crabs, scuttling along in the

dust. "Get out of our way, pussy," they squeaked.

"Ho, ho ho!" cried the cat in a terrible voice. "I've eaten five hundred

cakes, I've eaten my friend the parrot, I've eaten an old woman, a man

with a donkey, a king, a queen, his men-at-arms, and all his elephants;

and now I'll eat you too."

And slip! slop! gobble! down went the two land-crabs.

When the land-crabs got down inside, they began to look around. It was

very dark, but they could see the poor king sitting in a corner with his

bride on his arm; she had fainted. Near them were the men-at-arms,

treading on one another's toes, and the elephants, still trying to form in

twos,--but they couldn't, because there was not room. In the opposite

corner sat the old woman, and near her stood the man and his donkey. But

in the other corner was a great pile of cakes, and by them perched the

parrot, his feathers all drooping.

"Let's get to work!" said the land-crabs. And, snip, snap, they began to

make a little hole in the side, with their sharp claws. Snip, snap, snip,

snap,--till it was big enough to get through. Then out they scuttled.

Then out walked the king, carrying his bride; out marched the men-at-arms;

out tramped the elephants, two by two; out came the old man, beating his

donkey; out walked the old woman, scolding the cat; and last of all, out

hopped the parrot, holding a cake in each claw. (You remember, two cakes

were all he wanted?)

But the poor cat had to spend the whole day sewing up the hole in his