Depressed About The Cat!

Illustration:  Puss In Boots.  Puss speaks words of comfort to his Master.  From the story "Puss and Boots."  LITTLE FOLKS STORIES.  McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. Ca 1888.

“Puss speaks words of comfort to his Master.”

There was once an old miller who had three sons, and after his death his property was divided among them. . .

But the third son fared the worst of all, for all that fell to his share was a cat, and that was about as good, he thought, as nothing at all.

He sat down to think in what way he could earn a living, and bemoaned his fate with bitter sighs and tears.

“What shall I do?” he cried aloud. “If I kill the cat and sell his skin, that won’t go far toward keeping me out of the poor-house! Oh, how much worse I am off than my brothers!”

The cat sat near his master and heard every word he said; and when he paused for a moment, Puss came forward, and in a clear voice said: “Dear master, do not be so cast down. If you’ll give me a pair of boots and a game-bag you shall have no cause for complaint.”

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From the story “Puss In Boots.”

LITTLE FOLKS STORIES.

Illustration by R. Andre (1867).

McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. Ca 1888.

A Dog’s Life!

Illustration:  OUR FRIEND THE DOG.  By Maurice Maeterlinck.  Illustrated by Cecil Alden.  Dodd, Mead & Company: New York. 1913.

We now, to return to Pelleas, know pretty well what to do and how to behave on the master’s premises. But the world does not end at the house-door, and, beyond the walls and beyond the hedge, there is a universe of which one has not the custody, where one is no longer at home, where relations are changed. How are we to stand in the street, in the fields, in the market-place, in the shops? In consequence of difficult and delicate observations, we understand that we must take no notice of passers-by; obey no calls but the master’s; be polite, with indifference, to strangers who pet us. Next, we must conscientiously fulfill certain obligations of mysterious courtesy toward our brothers the other dogs; respect chickens and ducks; not appear to remark the cakes at the pastry-cook’s, which spread themselves insolently within reach of the tongue; show to the cats, who, on the steps of the houses, provoke us by hideous grimaces, a silent contempt, but one that will not forget; and remember that it is lawful and even commendable to chase and strangle mice, rats, wild rabbits and, generally speaking, all animals (we learn to know them by secret marks) that have not yet made their peace with mankind.

All this and so much more! . . . Was it surprising that Pelleas often appeared pensive in the face of those numberless problems, and that his humble and gentle look was often so profound and grave, laden with cares and full of unreadable questions?

Alas, he did not have time to finish the long and heavy task which nature lays upon the instinct that rises in order to approach a brighter region. . . An ill of a mysterious character, which seems specially to punish the only animal that succeeds in leaving the circle in which it is born; an indefinite ill that carries off hundreds of intelligent little dogs, came and put an end to the destiny and happy education of Pelleas. And now all those efforts to achieve a little more light; all that ardour in loving, that courage in understanding; all that affectionate gaiety and innocent fawning; all those kind and devoted looks, which turned to man to ask for his assistance against unjust death; all those flickering gleams which came from the profound abyss of a world that is no longer ours; all those nearly human little habits lie sadly in the cold ground, under a flowering elder-tree, in a corner of the garden.

Illustration:  OUR FRIEND THE DOG.  By Maurice Maeterlinck.  Illustrated by Cecil Alden.  Dodd, Mead & Company: New York. 1913.

OUR FRIEND THE DOG.

By Maurice Maeterlinck.

Illustrated by Cecil Alden.

Dodd, Mead & Company: New York. 1913.

Puss Kills Rabbits!

Illustration: Puss and Rabbits.  LITTLE FOLKS STORIES  3 Bears, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood.  McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. 1888.

“Puss out-wits the Rabbits”

Through the woods and over the fields he ran till he came near a rabbit warren, when he crept more cautiously for fear some of the bunnies might hear him; for they have very sharp ears. He opened the game-bag, into which he had put some bits of cabbage and fresh parsley, and arranging the strings of the bag in a clever way, waited patiently for a visit from the rabbits.

Presently two or three young ones came hopping up and twitching their long ears. They sniffed around for awhile at the entrance of the bag, and then hopped in and began munching and nibbling at the parsley and cabbage, little thinking of the fate that awaited them. All at once the cat gave the string a jerk, and the bunnies were caught in a trap, and though they kicked ever so hard they couldn’t get out. Puss lost no time in killing them, and slinging the game-bag over his shoulder, he set out for the king’s palace.

Illustration: Puss and Rabbits.  LITTLE FOLKS STORIES  3 Bears, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood.  McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. 1888.

LITTLE FOLKS STORIES

3 Bears, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood.

McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. 1888.