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A Collection of Beatrix Potter Stories by Beatrix Potter

Part 2 out of 3

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nobody's leavings but his own.

He made his way up the hill; his
temper was not improved by noticing
unmistakable marks of badger.
No one else grubs up the moss so
wantonly as Tommy Brock.

Mr. Tod slapped his stick upon
the earth and fumed; he guessed
where Tommy Brock had gone to.
He was further annoyed by the jay
bird which followed him persistently.
It flew from tree to tree and scolded,
warning every rabbit within hearing
that either a cat or a fox was coming
up the plantation. Once when it
flew screaming over his head--
Mr. Tod snapped at it, and barked.

He approached his house very
carefully, with a large rusty key.
He sniffed and his whiskers bristled.
The house was locked up, but Mr.
Tod had his doubts whether it was
empty. He turned the rusty key in
the lock; the rabbits below could
hear it. Mr. Tod opened the door
cautiously and went in.

The sight that met Mr. Tod's eyes
in Mr. Tod's kitchen made Mr. Tod
furious. There was Mr. Tod's chair,
and Mr. Tod's pie dish, and his knife
and fork and mustard and salt cellar
and his table-cloth that he had left
folded up in the dresser--all set out
for supper (or breakfast)--without
doubt for that odious Tommy Brock.

There was a smell of fresh earth
and dirty badger, which fortunately
overpowered all smell of rabbit.

But what absorbed Mr. Tod's
attention was a noise--a deep slow
regular snoring grunting noise,
coming from his own bed.

He peeped through the hinges of
the half-open bedroom door. Then
he turned and came out of the
house in a hurry. His whiskers
bristled and his coat-collar stood on
end with rage.

For the next twenty minutes
Mr. Tod kept creeping cautiously
into the house, and retreating
hurriedly out again. By degrees he
ventured further in--right into the
bedroom. When he was outside the
house, he scratched up the earth with
fury. But when he was inside--he
did not like the look of Tommy
Brock's teeth.

He was lying on his back with
his mouth open, grinning from ear
to ear. He snored peacefully and
regularly; but one eye was not
perfectly shut.

Mr. Tod came in and out of the
bedroom. Twice he brought in his
walking-stick, and once he brought
in the coal-scuttle. But he thought
better of it, and took them away.

When he came back after removing
the coal-scuttle, Tommy Brock
was lying a little more sideways;
but he seemed even sounder asleep.
He was an incurably indolent person;
he was not in the least afraid
of Mr. Tod; he was simply too lazy
and comfortable to move.

Mr. Tod came back yet again into
the bedroom with a clothes line. He
stood a minute watching Tommy
Brock and listening attentively to
the snores. They were very loud
indeed, but seemed quite natural.

Mr. Tod turned his back towards
the bed, and undid the window.
It creaked; he turned round with
a jump. Tommy Brock, who had
opened one eye--shut it hastily.
The snores continued.

Mr. Tod's proceedings were peculiar,
and rather uneasy, (because the
bed was between the window and
the door of the bedroom). He opened
the window a little way, and pushed
out the greater part of the clothes
line on to the window sill. The rest
of the line, with a hook at the end,
remained in his hand.

Tommy Brock snored conscientiously.
Mr. Tod stood and looked
at him for a minute; then he left
the room again.

Tommy Brock opened both eyes,
and looked at the rope and grinned.
There was a noise outside the
window. Tommy Brock shut his
eyes in a hurry.

Mr. Tod had gone out at the front
door, and round to the back of the
house. On the way, he stumbled
over the rabbit burrow. If he had
had any idea who was inside it, he
would have pulled them out quickly.

His foot went through the tunnel
nearly upon the top of Peter Rabbit
and Benjamin, but fortunately he
thought that it was some more of
Tommy Brock's work.

He took up the coil of line from
the sill, listened for a moment, and
then tied the rope to a tree.

Tommy Brock watched him with
one eye, through the window. He
was puzzled.

Mr. Tod fetched a large heavy
pailful of water from the spring,
and staggered with it through the
kitchen into his bedroom.

Tommy Brock snored industriously,
with rather a snort.

Mr. Tod put down the pail beside
the bed, took up the end of rope
with the hook--hesitated, and
looked at Tommy Brock. The
snores were almost apoplectic; but
the grin was not quite so big.

Mr. Tod gingerly mounted a chair
by the head of the bedstead. His
legs were dangerously near to
Tommy Brock's teeth.

He reached up and put the end
of rope, with the hook, over the
head of the tester bed, where the
curtains ought to hang.

(Mr. Tod's curtains were folded
up, and put away, owing to the
house being unoccupied. So was
the counterpane. Tommy Brock
was covered with a blanket only.)
Mr. Tod standing on the unsteady
chair looked down upon him
attentively; he really was a first prize
sound sleeper!

It seemed as though nothing
would waken him--not even the
flapping rope across the bed.

Mr. Tod descended safely from
the chair, and endeavoured to get
up again with the pail of water.
He intended to hang it from the
hook, dangling over the head of
Tommy Brock, in order to make
a sort of shower-bath, worked by a
string, through the window.

But naturally being a thin-legged
person (though vindictive and sandy
whiskered)--he was quite unable to
lift the heavy weight to the level of
the hook and rope. He very nearly
overbalanced himself.

The snores became more and
more apoplectic. One of Tommy
Brock's hind legs twitched under
the blanket, but still he slept on
peacefully.

Mr. Tod and the pail descended
from the chair without accident.
After considerable thought, he
emptied the water into a wash-basin
and jug. The empty pail was not
too heavy for him; he slung it up
wobbling over the head of Tommy
Brock.

Surely there never was such a
sleeper! Mr. Tod got up and down,
down and up on the chair.

As he could not lift the whole
pailful of water at once, he fetched
a milk jug, and ladled quarts of
water into the pail by degrees. The
pail got fuller and fuller, and swung
like a pendulum. Occasionally a
drop splashed over; but still Tommy
Brock snored regularly and never
moved,--except one eye.

At last Mr. Tod's preparations
were complete. The pail was full
of water; the rope was tightly
strained over the top of the bed,
and across the window sill to the
tree outside.

"It will make a great mess in
my bedroom; but I could never
sleep in that bed again without a
spring cleaning of some sort," said
Mr. Tod.

Mr. Tod took a last look at the
badger and softly left the room. He
went out of the house, shutting the
front door. The rabbits heard his
footsteps over the tunnel.

He ran round behind the house,
intending to undo the rope in order
to let fall the pailful of water upon
Tommy Brock--

"I will wake him up with an
unpleasant surprise," said Mr. Tod.

The moment he had gone, Tommy
Brock got up in a hurry; he rolled
Mr. Tod's dressing-gown into a
bundle, put it into the bed beneath
the pail of water instead of himself,
and left the room also--grinning
immensely.

He went into the kitchen, lighted
the fire and boiled the kettle; for
the moment he did not trouble himself
to cook the baby rabbits.

When Mr. Tod got to the tree,
he found that the weight and strain
had dragged the knot so tight that
it was past untying. He was
obliged to gnaw it with his teeth.
He chewed and gnawed for more
than twenty minutes. At last the
rope gave way with such a sudden
jerk that it nearly pulled his teeth
out, and quite knocked him over
backwards.

Inside the house there was a great
crash and splash, and the noise of
a pail rolling over and over.

But no screams. Mr. Tod was
mystified; he sat quite still, and
listened attentively. Then he
peeped in at the window. The
water was dripping from the bed,
the pail had rolled into a corner.

In the middle of the bed under
the blanket, was a wet flattened
SOMETHING--much dinged in, in the
middle where the pail had caught it
(as it were across the tummy). Its
head was covered by the wet blanket
and it was NOT SNORING ANY LONGER.

There was nothing stirring, and
no sound except the drip, drop,
drop drip of water trickling from
the mattress.

Mr. Tod watched it for half an
hour; his eyes glistened.

Then he cut a caper, and became
so bold that he even tapped at
the window; but the bundle never
moved.

Yes--there was no doubt about
it--it had turned out even better
than he had planned; the pail had
hit poor old Tommy Brock, and
killed him dead!

"I will bury that nasty person in
the hole which he has dug. I will
bring my bedding out, and dry it in
the sun," said Mr. Tod.

"I will wash the tablecloth and
spread it on the grass in the sun to
bleach. And the blanket must be
hung up in the wind; and the bed
must be thoroughly disinfected, and
aired with a warming-pan; and
warmed with a hot-water bottle."

"I will get soft soap, and monkey
soap, and all sorts of soap; and
soda and scrubbing brushes; and
persian powder; and carbolic to
remove the smell. I must have a
disinfecting. Perhaps I may have
to burn sulphur."

He hurried round the house to
get a shovel from the kitchen--
"First I will arrange the hole--
then I will drag out that person in
the blanket . . ."

He opened the door. . . .

Tommy Brock was sitting at Mr.
Tod's kitchen table, pouring out
tea from Mr. Tod's tea-pot into
Mr. Tod's tea-cup. He was quite
dry himself and grinning; and he
threw the cup of scalding tea all
over Mr. Tod.

Then Mr. Tod rushed upon
Tommy Brock, and Tommy Brock
grappled with Mr. Tod amongst
the broken crockery, and there was
a terrific battle all over the kitchen.
To the rabbits underneath it sounded
as if the floor would give way at
each crash of falling furniture.

They crept out of their tunnel,
and hung about amongst the rocks
and bushes, listening anxiously.

Inside the house the racket was
fearful. The rabbit babies in the
oven woke up trembling; perhaps
it was fortunate they were shut up
inside.

Everything was upset except the
kitchen table.

And everything was broken,
except the mantelpiece and the
kitchen fender. The crockery was
smashed to atoms.

The chairs were broken, and the
window, and the clock fell with a
crash, and there were handfuls of
Mr. Tod's sandy whiskers.

The vases fell off the mantelpiece,
the canisters fell off the
shelf; the kettle fell off the hob.
Tommy Brock put his foot in a jar
of raspberry Jam.

And the boiling water out of the
kettle fell upon the tail of Mr. Tod.

When the kettle fell, Tommy
Brock, who was still grinning,
happened to be uppermost; and he
rolled Mr. Tod over and over like
a log, out at the door.

Then the snarling and worrying
went on outside; and they rolled
over the bank, and down hill,
bumping over the rocks. There
will never be any love lost between
Tommy Brock and Mr. Tod.

As soon as the coast was clear
Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny
came out of the bushes--

"Now for it! Run in, Cousin
Benjamin! Run in and get them
while I watch at the door."

But Benjamin was frightened--

"Oh; oh! they are coming back!"

"No they are not."

"Yes they are!"

"What dreadful bad language!
I think they have fallen down the
stone quarry."

Still Benjamin hesitated, and
Peter kept pushing him--

"Be quick, it's all right. Shut
the oven door, Cousin Benjamin,
so that he won't miss them."

Decidedly there were lively
doings in Mr. Tod's kitchen!

At home in the rabbit hole, things
had not been quite comfortable.

After quarrelling at supper,
Flopsy and old Mr. Bouncer had
passed a sleepless night, and
quarrelled again at breakfast. Old Mr.
Bouncer could no longer deny that
he had invited company into the
rabbit hole; but he refused to reply
to the questions and reproaches of
Flopsy. The day passed heavily.

Old Mr. Bouncer, very sulky,
was huddled up in a corner, barricaded
with a chair. Flopsy had
taken away his pipe and hidden
the tobacco. She had been having
a complete turn out and spring-
cleaning, to relieve her feelings.
She had just finished. Old Mr.
Bouncer, behind his chair, was
wondering anxiously what she
would do next.

In Mr. Tod's kitchen, amongst the
wreckage, Benjamin Bunny picked
his way to the oven nervously,
through a thick cloud of dust. He
opened the oven door, felt inside,
and found something warm and
wriggling. He lifted it out carefully,
and rejoined Peter Rabbit.

"I've got them! Can we get away?
Shall we hide, Cousin Peter?"

Peter pricked his ears; distant
sounds of fighting still echoed in
the wood.

Five minutes afterwards two
breathless rabbits came scuttering
away down Bull Banks, half carrying
half dragging a sack between
them, bumpetty bump over the
grass. They reached home safely
and burst into the rabbit hole.

Great was old Mr. Bouncer's
relief and Flopsy's joy when Peter
and Benjamin arrived in triumph
with the young family. The rabbit-
babies were rather tumbled and
very hungry; they were fed and
put to bed. They soon recovered.

A long new pipe and a fresh supply
of rabbit tobacco was presented to
Mr. Bouncer. He was rather upon
his dignity; but he accepted.

Old Mr. Bouncer was forgiven,
and they all had dinner. Then Peter
and Benjamin told their story--but
they had not waited long enough
to be able to tell the end of the
battle between Tommy Brock and
Mr. Tod.

THE END

THE TALE OF
MRS. TIGGY-WINKLE

for
THE REAL LITTLE LUCIE
OF NEWLANDS

ONCE upon a time there
was a little girl called
Lucie, who lived at a farm
called Little-town. She was
a good little girl--only she
was always losing her pocket-
handkerchiefs!

One day little Lucie came
into the farm-yard crying--
oh, she did cry so! "I've lost
my pocket-handkin! Three
handkins and a pinny! Have
YOU seen them, Tabby Kitten?"

THE Kitten went on washing
her white paws; so
Lucie asked a speckled hen--

"Sally Henny-penny, has
YOU found three pocket-handkins?"

But the speckled hen ran
into a barn, clucking--

"I go barefoot, barefoot,
barefoot!"

AND then Lucie asked Cock
Robin sitting on a twig.

Cock Robin looked sideways
at Lucie with his bright black
eye, and he flew over a stile
and away.

Lucie climbed upon the stile
and looked up at the hill behind
Little-town--a hill that goes
up--up--into the clouds as
though it had no top!

And a great way up the hillside
she thought she saw some
white things spread upon the
grass.

LUCIE scrambled up the
hill as fast as her stout
legs would carry her; she ran
along a steep path-way--up
and up--until Little-town was
right away down below--she
could have dropped a pebble
down the chimney!

PRESENTLY she came to
a spring, bubbling out
from the hill-side.

Some one had stood a tin
can upon a stone to catch the
water--but the water was
already running over, for the
can was no bigger than an
egg-cup! And where the sand
upon the path was wet--there
were foot-marks of a VERY
small person.

Lucie ran on, and on.

THE path ended under a
big rock. The grass was
short and green, and there
were clothes-props cut from
bracken stems, with lines of
plaited rushes, and a heap of
tiny clothes pins--but no
pocket-handkerchiefs!

But there was something
else--a door! straight into the
hill; and inside it some one
was singing--

"Lily-white and clean, oh!
With little frills between, oh!
Smooth and hot--red rusty spot
Never here be seen, oh!"

LUCIE, knocked--once--
twice, and interrupted
the song. A little frightened
voice called out "Who's that?"

Lucie opened the door: and
what do you think there was
inside the hill?--a nice clean
kitchen with a flagged floor
and wooden beams--just like
any other farm kitchen. Only
the ceiling was so low that
Lucie's head nearly touched it;
and the pots and pans were
small, and so was everything
there.

THERE was a nice hot
singey smell; and at the
table, with an iron in her hand
stood a very stout short person
staring anxiously at Lucie.

Her print gown was tucked
up, and she was wearing a
large apron over her striped
petticoat. Her little black
nose went sniffle, sniffle, snuffle,
and her eyes went twinkle,
twinkle; and underneath her
cap--where Lucie had yellow
curls--that little person had
PRICKLES!

"WHO are you?" said
Lucie. "Have you
seen my pocket-handkins?"

The little person made a
bob-curtsey--"Oh, yes, if you
please'm; my name is Mrs.
Tiggy-winkle; oh, yes if you
please'm, I'm an excellent clear-
starcher!" And she took
something out of a clothes-
basket, and spread it on the
ironing-blanket.

"WHAT'S that thing?"
said Lucie--"that's
not my pocket-handkin?"

"Oh no, if you please'm;
that's a little scarlet waist-coat
belonging to Cock Robin!"

And she ironed it and folded
it, and put it on one side.

THEN she took something
else off a clothes-horse--
"That isn't my pinny?" said
Lucie.

"Oh no, if you please'm;
that's a damask table-cloth
belonging to Jenny Wren;
look how it's stained with
currant wine! It's very bad
to wash!" said Mrs. Tiggy-
winkle.

MRS. TIGGY-WINKLE'S
nose went sniffle, sniffle,
snuffle, and her eyes went
twinkle, twinkle; and she
fetched another hot iron from
the fire.

"THERE'S one of my
pocket-handkins!" cried
Lucie--"and there's my pinny!"

Mrs. Tiggy-winkle ironed it,
and goffered it, and shook out
the frills.

"Oh that IS lovely!" said
Lucie.

"AND what are those long
yellow things with fingers
like gloves?"

"Oh, that's a pair of stockings
belonging to Sally Henny-
penny--look how she's worn
the heels out with scratching
in the yard! She'll very soon
go barefoot!" said Mrs. Tiggy-
winkle.

"WHY, there's another
handkersniff--but it
isn't mine; it's red?"

"Oh no, if you please'm;
that one belongs to old Mrs.
Rabbit; and it DID so smell
of onions! I've had to wash
it separately, I can't get out
the smell."

"There's another one of
mine," said Lucie.

"WHAT are those funny
little white things?"

"That's a pair of mittens
belonging to Tabby Kitten; I
only have to iron them; she
washes them herself."

"There's my last pocket-
handkin!" said Lucie.

"AND what are you dipping
into the basin of starch?"

"They're little dicky shirt-
fronts belonging to Tom Titmouse
--most terrible particular!"
said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.
"Now I've finished my ironing;
I'm going to air some clothes."

"WHAT are these dear soft
fluffy things?" said
Lucie.

"Oh those are wooly coats
belonging to the little lambs
at Skelghyl."

"Will their jackets take off?"
asked Lucy.

"Oh yes, if you please'm;
look at the sheep-mark on the
shoulder. And here's one
marked for Gatesgarth, and
three that come from Little-town.
They're ALWAYS marked
at washing!" said Mrs. Tiggy-
winkle.

AND she hung up all sorts
and sizes of clothes--
small brown coats of mice;
and one velvety black mole-
skin waist-coat; and a red tail-
coat with no tail belonging to
Squirrel Nutkin; and a very
much shrunk blue jacket
belonging to Peter Rabbit; and
a petticoat, not marked, that
had gone lost in the washing
--and at last the basket was
empty!

THEN Mrs. Tiggy-winkle
made tea--a cup for herself
and a cup for Lucie. They
sat before the fire on a bench
and looked sideways at one
another. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's
hand, holding the tea-cup, was
very very brown, and very very
wrinkly with the soap-suds;
and all through her gown and
her cap, there were HAIR-PINS
sticking wrong end out; so
that Lucie didn't like to sit
too near her.

WHEN they had finished
tea, they tied up the
clothes in bundles; and Lucie's
pocket-handkerchiefs were
folded up inside her clean
pinny, and fastened with a
silver safety-pin.

And then they made up the
fire with turf, and came out
and locked the door, and hid
the key under the door-sill.

THEN away down the hill
trotted Lucie and Mrs.
Tiggy-winkle with the bundles
of clothes!

All the way down the path
little animals came out of the
fern to meet them; the very
first that they met were Peter
Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny!

AND she gave them their
nice clean clothes; and
all the little animals and birds
were so very much obliged to
dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.

SO that at the bottom of the
hill when they came to
the stile, there was nothing
left to carry except Lucie's
one little bundle.

LUCIE scrambled up the
stile with the bundle in
her hand; and then she turned
to say "Good-night," and to
thank the washer-woman--
But what a VERY odd thing!
Mrs. Tiggy-winkle had not
waited either for thanks or for
the washing bill!

She was running running
running up the hill--and
where was her white frilled
cap? and her shawl? and her
gown--and her petticoat?

AND how small she had
grown--and how brown
--and covered with PRICKLES!

Why! Mrs. Tiggy-winkle
was nothing but a HEDGEHOG.

* * * *

(Now some people say that little
Lucie had been asleep upon the stile--
but then how could she have found
three clean pocket-handkins and a pinny,
pinned with a silver safety-pin?

And besides--_I_ have seen that door
into the back of the hill called Cat
Bells--and besides _I_ am very well
acquainted with dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle!)

THE TALE OF
GINGER & PICKLES

ONCE upon a time there was a
village shop. The name over
the window was "Ginger and
Pickles."

It was a little small shop just the
right size for Dolls--Lucinda and
Jane Doll-cook always bought their
groceries at Ginger and Pickles.

The counter inside was a
convenient height for rabbits. Ginger
and Pickles sold red spotty pocket-
handkerchiefs at a penny three
farthings.

They also sold sugar, and snuff
and galoshes.

In fact, although it was such a
small shop it sold nearly everything
--except a few things that you
want in a hurry--like bootlaces,
hair-pins and mutton chops.

Ginger and Pickles were the
people who kept the shop. Ginger
was a yellow tom-cat, and Pickles
was a terrier.

The rabbits were always a little
bit afraid of Pickles.

The shop was also patronized by
mice--only the mice were rather
afraid of Ginger.

Ginger usually requested Pickles
to serve them, because he said it
made his mouth water.

"I cannot bear," said he, "to see
them going out at the door carrying
their little parcels."

"I have the same feeling about
rats," replied Pickles, "but it
would never do to eat our own
customers; they would leave us and
go to Tabitha Twitchit's."

"On the contrary, they would go
nowhere," replied Ginger gloomily.

(Tabitha Twitchit kept the only
other shop in the village. She did
not give credit.)

Ginger and Pickles gave unlimited
credit.

Now the meaning of "credit" is
this--when a customer buys a bar
of soap, instead of the customer
pulling out a purse and paying for
it--she says she will pay another
time.

And Pickles makes a low bow and
says, "With pleasure, madam,"
and it is written down in a book.

The customers come again and
again, and buy quantities, in spite
of being afraid of Ginger and
Pickles.

But there is no money in what
is called the "till."

The customers came in crowds
every day and bought quantities,
especially the toffee customers.
But there was always no money;
they never paid for as much as a
pennyworth of peppermints.

But the sales were enormous, ten
times as large as Tabitha Twitchit's.

As there was always no money,
Ginger and Pickles were obliged to
eat their own goods.

Pickles ate biscuits and Ginger
ate a dried haddock.

They ate them by candle-light
after the shop was closed.

When it came to Jan. 1st there
was still no money, and Pickles
was unable to buy a dog licence.

"It is very unpleasant, I am
afraid of the police," said Pickles.

"It is your own fault for being
a terrier; _I_ do not require a licence,
and neither does Kep, the Collie
dog."

"It is very uncomfortable, I am
afraid I shall be summoned. I
have tried in vain to get a licence
upon credit at the Post Office;"
said Pickles. "The place is full of
policemen. I met one as I was
coming home."

"Let us send in the bill again to
Samuel Whiskers, Ginger, he owes
22/9 for bacon."

"I do not believe that he intends
to pay at all," replied Ginger.

"And I feel sure that Anna
Maria pockets things-- Where
are all the cream crackers?"
"You have eaten them yourself,"
replied Ginger.

Ginger and Pickles retired into
the back parlour.

They did accounts. They added
up sums and sums, and sums.

"Samuel Whiskers has run up
a bill as long as his tail; he has
had an ounce and three-quarters of
snuff since October."

"What is seven pounds of butter
at 1/3, and a stick of sealing wax
and four matches?"

"Send in all the bills again to
everybody 'with compts'" replied
Ginger.

After a time they heard a noise
in the shop, as if something had
been pushed in at the door. They
came out of the back parlour. There
was an envelope lying on the counter,
and a policeman writing in a
note-book!

Pickles nearly had a fit, he barked
and he barked and made little
rushes.

"Bite him, Pickles! bite him!"
spluttered Ginger behind a sugar-
barrel, "he's only a German doll!"

The policeman went on writing
in his notebook; twice he put his
pencil in his mouth, and once he
dipped it in the treacle.

Pickles barked till he was hoarse.
But still the policeman took no
notice. He had bead eyes, and his
helmet was sewed on with stitches.

At length on his last little rush
--Pickles found that the shop was
empty. The policeman had disappeared.

But the envelope remained.

"Do you think that he has gone
to fetch a real live policeman? I
am afraid it is a summons," said
Pickles.

"No," replied Ginger, who had
opened the envelope, "it is the
rates and taxes, L 3 19 11 3/4 ."

"This is the last straw," said
Pickles, "let us close the shop."

They put up the shutters, and
left. But they have not removed
from the neighbourhood. In fact
some people wish they had gone
further.

Ginger is living in the warren. I
do not know what occupation he
pursues; he looks stout and
comfortable.

Pickles is at present a gamekeeper.

The closing of the shop caused
great inconvenience. Tabitha
Twitchit immediately raised the
price of everything a half-penny;
and she continued to refuse to give
credit.

Of course there are the trades-
men's carts--the butcher, the fishman
and Timothy Baker.

But a person cannot live on "seed
wigs" and sponge-cake and butter-
buns--not even when the sponge-
cake is as good as Timothy's!

After a time Mr. John Dormouse
and his daughter began to sell
peppermints and candles.

But they did not keep "self-fitting
sixes"; and it takes five mice to
carry one seven inch candle.

Besides--the candles which they
sell behave very strangely in warm
weather.

And Miss Dormouse refused to
take back the ends when they were
brought back to her with complaints.

And when Mr. John Dormouse
was complained to, he stayed in
bed, and would say nothing but
"very snug;" which is not the way
to carry on a retail business.

So everybody was pleased when
Sally Henny Penny sent out a
printed poster to say that she was
going to re-open the shop--
"Henny's Opening Sale! Grand
co-operative Jumble! Penny's
penny prices! Come buy, come
try, come buy!"

The poster really was most 'ticing.

There was a rush upon the opening
day. The shop was crammed
with customers, and there were
crowds of mice upon the biscuit
canisters.

Sally Henny Penny gets rather
flustered when she tries to count
out change, and she insists on being
paid cash; but she is quite harmless.

And she has laid in a remarkable
assortment of bargains.

There is something to please
everybody.

THE END

THE STORY OF
MISS MOPPET

THIS is a Pussy called
Miss Moppet, she thinks
she has heard a mouse!

THIS is the Mouse peeping
out behind the cupboard,
and making fun of
Miss Moppet. He is not
afraid of a kitten.

THIS is Miss Moppet
jumping just too late;
she misses the Mouse and
hits her own head.

SHE thinks it is a very
hard cupboard!

THE Mouse watches Miss
Moppet from the top of
the cupboard.

MISS MOPPET ties up
her head in a duster,
and sits before the fire.

THE Mouse thinks she is
looking very ill. He
comes sliding down the bell-
pull.

MISS MOPPET looks
worse and worse. The
Mouse comes a little nearer.

MISS MOPPET holds
her poor head in her
paws, and looks at him
through a hole in the duster.
The Mouse comes VERY close.

AND then all of a sudden
--Miss Moppet jumps
upon the Mouse!

AND because the Mouse
has teased Miss Moppet
--Miss Moppet thinks she
will tease the Mouse; which
is not at all nice of Miss
Moppet.

SHE ties him up in the
duster, and tosses it
about like a ball.

BUT she forgot about that
hole in the duster; and
when she untied it--there
was no Mouse!

HE has wriggled out and
run away; and he is
dancing a jig on the top of
the cupboard!

THE END

THE TALE OF
MR. JEREMY FISHER

FOR
STEPHANIE
FROM
COUSIN B.

ONCE upon a time there
was a frog called Mr.
Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a
little damp house amongst the
buttercups at the edge of a
pond.

THE water was all slippy-
sloppy in the larder and
in the back passage.

But Mr. Jeremy liked
getting his feet wet; nobody ever
scolded him, and he never
caught a cold!

HE was quite pleased when
he looked out and saw
large drops of rain, splashing
in the pond--

"I WILL get some worms
and go fishing and catch
a dish of minnows for my
dinner," said Mr. Jeremy
Fisher. "If I catch more than
five fish, I will invite my
friends Mr. Alderman Ptolemy
Tortoise and Sir Isaac Newton.
The Alderman, however, eats
salad."

MR. JEREMY put on a
macintosh, and a pair
of shiny goloshes; he took his
rod and basket, and set off
with enormous hops to the
place where he kept his boat.

THE boat was round and
green, and very like the
other lily-leaves. It was
tied to a water-plant in
the middle of the pond.

MR. JEREMY took a reed
pole, and pushed the
boat out into open water. "I
know a good place for minnows,"
said Mr. Jeremy
Fisher.

MR. JEREMY stuck his
pole into the mud and
fastened his boat to it.

Then he settled himself
cross-legged and arranged his
fishing tackle. He had the
dearest little red float. His
rod was a tough stalk of
grass, his line was a fine long
white horse-hair, and he tied
a little wriggling worm at the
end.

THE rain trickled down his
back, and for nearly an
hour he stared at the float.

"This is getting tiresome,
I think I should like some
lunch," said Mr. Jeremy
Fisher.

HE punted back again
amongst the water-
plants, and took some lunch
out of his basket.

"I will eat a butterfly
sandwich, and wait till the
shower is over," said Mr.
Jeremy Fisher.

A GREAT big water-beetle
came up underneath the
lily leaf and tweaked the toe
of one of his goloshes.

Mr. Jeremy crossed his legs
up shorter, out of reach, and
went on eating his sandwich.

ONCE or twice something
moved about with a
rustle and a splash amongst
the rushes at the side of the
pond.

"I trust that is not a rat,"
said Mr. Jeremy Fisher; "I
think I had better get away
from here."

MR. JEREMY shoved the
boat out again a little
way, and dropped in the bait.
There was a bite almost
directly; the float gave a
tremendous bobbit!

"A minnow! a minnow! I
have him by the nose!" cried
Mr. Jeremy Fisher, jerking
up his rod.

BUT what a horrible
surprise! Instead of a
smooth fat minnow, Mr.
Jeremy landed little Jack
Sharp the stickleback, covered
with spines!

THE stickleback floundered
about the boat, pricking
and snapping until he was
quite out of breath. Then he
jumped back into the water.

AND a shoal of other little
fishes put their heads
out, and laughed at Mr.
Jeremy Fisher.

AND while Mr. Jeremy sat
disconsolately on the
edge of his boat--sucking his
sore fingers and peering down
into the water--a MUCH worse
thing happened; a really
FRIGHTFUL thing it would have
been, if Mr. Jeremy had not
been wearing a macintosh!

A GREAT big enormous
trout came up--ker-
pflop-p-p-p! with a splash--
and it seized Mr. Jeremy with
a snap, "Ow! Ow! Ow!"--
and then it turned and dived
down to the bottom of the
pond!

BUT the trout was so displeased
with the taste of
the macintosh, that in less
than half a minute it spat him
out again; and the only thing
it swallowed was Mr. Jeremy's
goloshes.

MR. JEREMY bounced up
to the surface of the
water, like a cork and the
bubbles out of a soda water
bottle; and he swam with
all his might to the edge of
the pond.

HE scrambled out on the
first bank he came to,
and he hopped home across
the meadow with his
macintosh all in tatters.

"WHAT a mercy that was
not a pike!" said
Mr. Jeremy Fisher. "I have
lost my rod and basket; but
it does not much matter, for I
am sure I should never have
dared to go fishing again!"

HE put some sticking
plaster on his fingers,
and his friends both came to
dinner. He could not offer
them fish, but he had something
else in his larder.

SIR ISAAC NEWTON
wore his black and gold
waistcoat,

AND Mr. Alderman Ptolemy
Tortoise brought a salad
with him in a string bag.

AND instead of a nice dish
of minnows--they had a
roasted grasshopper with
lady-bird sauce; which frogs
consider a beautiful treat; but
_I_ think it must have been
nasty!

THE END

THE TALE OF
TIMMY TIPTOES

FOR
MANY UNKNOWN LITTLE FRIENDS,
INCLUDING MONICA

ONCE upon a time there was
a little fat comfortable
grey squirrel, called Timmy
Tiptoes. He had a nest
thatched with leaves in the
top of a tall tree; and he
had a little squirrel wife called
Goody.

TIMMY TIPTOES sat out,
enjoying the breeze; he
whisked his tail and chuckled
--"Little wife Goody, the nuts
are ripe; we must lay up a
store for winter and spring."
Goody Tiptoes was busy
pushing moss under the
thatch--"The nest is so
snug, we shall be sound asleep
all winter." "Then we shall
wake up all the thinner, when
there is nothing to eat in
spring-time," replied prudent
Timothy.

WHEN Timmy and Goody
Tiptoes came to the
nut thicket, they found other
squirrels were there already.

Timmy took off his jacket
and hung it on a twig; they
worked away quietly by themselves.

EVERY day they made
several journeys and
picked quantities of nuts.
They carried them away in
bags, and stored them in
several hollow stumps near
the tree where they had built
their nest.

WHEN these stumps were
full, they began to
empty the bags into a hole
high up a tree, that had belonged
to a wood-pecker; the
nuts rattled down--down--
down inside.

"How shall you ever get
them out again? It is like a
money-box!" said Goody.

"I shall be much thinner
before spring-time, my love,"
said Timmy Tiptoes, peeping
into the hole.

THEY did collect quantities
--because they did not
lose them! Squirrels who bury
their nuts in the ground lose
more than half, because they
cannot remember the place.

The most forgetful squirrel
in the wood was called Silvertail.
He began to dig, and
he could not remember. And
then he dug again and found
some nuts that did not belong
to him; and there was a fight.
And other squirrels began to
dig,--the whole wood was in
commotion!

UNFORTUNATELY, just
at this time a flock of
little birds flew by, from
bush to bush, searching for
green caterpillars and spiders.
There were several sorts of
little birds, twittering different
songs.

The first one sang--
"Who's bin digging-up MY
nuts? Who's-been-digging-
up MY nuts?"

And another sang--"Little
bita bread and-NO-cheese!
Little bit-a-bread an'-NO-
cheese!"

THE squirrels followed and
listened. The first little
bird flew into the bush where
Timmy and Goody Tiptoes
were quietly tying up their
bags, and it sang--"Who's-
bin digging-up MY nuts?
Who's been digging-up MY-
nuts?"

Timmy Tiptoes went on
with his work without
replying; indeed, the little bird
did not expect an answer. It
was only singing its natural
song, and it meant nothing at
all.

BUT when the other squirrels
heard that song, they
rushed upon Timmy Tiptoes
and cuffed and scratched him,
and upset his bag of nuts.
The innocent little bird which
had caused all the mischief,
flew away in a fright!

Timmy rolled over and over,
and then turned tail and fled
towards his nest, followed by
a crowd of squirrels shouting
--"Who's-been digging-up
MY-nuts?"

THEY caught him and
dragged him up the very
same tree, where there was
the little round hole, and they
pushed him in. The hole
was much too small for
Timmy Tiptoes' figure. They
squeezed him dreadfully, it
was a wonder they did not
break his ribs. "We will
leave him here till he
confesses," said Silvertail Squirrel,
and he shouted into the hole--

"Who's-been-digging-up
MY-nuts?"

TIMMY TIPTOES made
no reply; he had tumbled
down inside the tree, upon
half a peck of nuts belonging
to himself. He lay quite
stunned and still.

GOODY TIPTOES picked
up the nut bags and went
home. She made a cup of
tea for Timmy; but he didn't
come and didn't come.

Goody Tiptoes passed a
lonely and unhappy night.
Next morning she ventured
back to the nut-bushes to look
for him; but the other unkind
squirrels drove her away.

She wandered all over the
wood, calling--

"Timmy Tiptoes! Timmy
Tiptoes! Oh, where is Timmy
Tiptoes?"

IN the meantime Timmy
Tiptoes came to his senses.
He found himself tucked up
in a little moss bed, very much
in the dark, feeling sore; it
seemed to be under ground.
Timmy coughed and groaned,
because his ribs hurted him.
There was a chirpy noise, and
a small striped Chipmunk
appeared with a night light,
and hoped he felt better?

It was most kind to Timmy
Tiptoes; it lent him its nightcap;
and the house was full
of provisions.

THE Chipmunk explained
that it had rained nuts
through the top of the tree
--"Besides, I found a few
buried!" It laughed and
chuckled when it heard
Timmy's story. While Timmy
was confined to bed, it 'ticed
him to eat quantities--"But
how shall I ever get out
through that hole unless I
thin myself? My wife will be
anxious!" "Just another nut
--or two nuts; let me crack
them for you," said the Chipmunk.
Timmy Tiptoes grew
fatter and fatter!

NOW Goody Tiptoes had
set to work again by
herself. She did not put any
more nuts into the woodpecker's
hole, because she had
always doubted how they
could be got out again. She
hid them under a tree root;
they rattled down, down,
down. Once when Goody
emptied an extra big bagful,
there was a decided squeak;
and next time Goody brought
another bagful, a little striped
Chipmunk scrambled out in a
hurry.

"IT is getting perfectly full-
up down-stairs; the
sitting-room is full, and they are
rolling along the passage; and
my husband, Chippy Hackee,
has run away and left me.
What is the explanation of
these showers of nuts?"

"I am sure I beg your
pardon; I did not not know that
anybody lived here," said Mrs.
Goody Tiptoes; "but where is
Chippy Hackee? My husband,
Timmy Tiptoes, has run away
too." "I know where Chippy
is; a little bird told me," said
Mrs. Chippy Hackee.

SHE led the way to the woodpecker's
tree, and they
listened at the hole.

Down below there was a
noise of nut crackers, and a
fat squirrel voice and a thin
squirrel voice were singing
together--

"My little old man and I fell out,
How shall we bring this matter about?
Bring it about as well as you can,
And get you gone, you little old man!"

"You could squeeze in,
through that little
round hole," said Goody
Tiptoes. "Yes, I could," said
the Chipmunk, "but my
husband, Chippy Hackee,
bites!"

Down below there was a
noise of cracking nuts and
nibbling; and then the fat
squirrel voice and the thin
squirrel voice sang--

"For the diddlum day
Day diddle dum di!
Day diddle diddle dum day!"

THEN Goody peeped in at
the hole, and called
down--"Timmy Tiptoes! Oh
fie, Timmy Tiptoes!" And
Timmy replied, "Is that you,
Goody Tiptoes? Why, certainly!"

He came up and kissed
Goody through the hole; but
he was so fat that he could
not get out.

Chippy Hackee was not too
fat, but he did not want to
come; he stayed down below
and chuckled.

AND so it went on for a
fortnight; till a big wind
blew off the top of the tree,
and opened up the hole and let
in the rain.

Then Timmy Tiptoes came
out, and went home with an
umbrella.

BUT Chippy Hackee
continued to camp out for
another week, although it was
uncomfortable.

AT last a large bear came
walking through the
wood. Perhaps he also was
looking for nuts; he seemed
to be sniffing around.

CHIPPY HACKEE went
home in a hurry!

AND when Chippy Hackee
got home, he found he
had caught a cold in his head;
and he was more uncomfortable
still.

And now Timmy and
Goody Tiptoes keep their
nut-store fastened up with a
little padlock.

AND whenever that little
bird sees the Chipmunks,
he sings--"Who's-been-
digging-up MY-nuts? Who's
been digging-up MY-nuts?"
But nobody ever answers!

THE END

THE PIE
AND
THE PATTY-PAN

Pussy-cat sits by the fire--how should she be fair?
In walks the little dog--says "Pussy are you there?
How do you do mistress Pussy? Mistress Pussy, how do you do?"
"I thank you kindly, little dog, I fare as well as you!"
Old Rhyme.

ONCE upon a time there was a
Pussy-cat called Ribby, who
invited a little dog called Duchess
to tea.

"Come in good time, my dear
Duchess," said Ribby's letter, "and
we will have something so very nice.
I am baking it in a pie-dish--a pie-
dish with a pink rim. You never
tasted anything so good! And YOU
shall eat it all! _I_ will eat muffins,
my dear Duchess!" wrote Ribby.

Duchess read the letter and wrote
an answer:--"I will come with
much pleasure at a quarter past four.
But it is very strange. _I_ was just
going to invite you to come here,
to supper, my dear Ribby, to eat
something MOST DELICIOUS."

"I will come very punctually, my
dear Ribby," wrote Duchess; and
then at the end she added--"I hope
it isn't mouse?"

And then she thought that did
not look quite polite; so she scratched
out "isn't mouse" and changed
it to "I hope it will be fine," and
she gave her letter to the postman.

But she thought a great deal
about Ribby's pie, and she read
Ribby's letter over and over again.

"I am dreadfully afraid it WILL be
mouse!" said Duchess to herself--
"I really couldn't, COULDN'T eat
mouse pie. And I shall have to
eat it, because it is a party. And
MY pie was going to be veal and
ham. A pink and white pie-dish!
and so is mine; just like Ribby's
dishes; they were both bought at
Tabitha Twitchit's."

Duchess went into her larder
and took the pie off a shelf and
looked at it.

"It is all ready to put into the
oven. Such lovely pie-crust; and
I put in a little tin patty-pan to
hold up the crust; and I made a
hole in the middle with a fork to
let out the steam--Oh I do wish I
could eat my own pie, instead of a
pie made of mouse!"

Duchess considered and considered
and read Ribby' s letter again--

"A pink and white pie-dish-and
YOU shall eat it all. 'You' means
me--then Ribby is not going to
even taste the pie herself? A pink
and white pie-dish! Ribby is sure
to go out to buy the muffins. . . . .
Oh what a good idea! Why
shouldn't I rush along and put my
pie into Ribby's oven when Ribby
isn't there?"

Duchess was quite delighted
with her own cleverness!

Ribby in the meantime had
received Duchess's answer, and as
soon as she was sure that the little
dog would come--she popped HER
pie into the oven. There were two
ovens, one above the other; some
other knobs and handles were only
ornamental and not intended to
open. Ribby put the pie into the
lower oven; the door was very stiff.

"The top oven bakes too quickly,"
said Ribby to herself. "It is a
pie of the most delicate and tender
mouse minced up with bacon. And
I have taken out all the bones;
because Duchess did nearly choke
herself with a fish-bone last time I
gave a party. She eats a little fast
--rather big mouthfuls. But a
most genteel and elegant little dog
infinitely superior company to
Cousin Tabitha Twitchit."

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