Pussy and Doggy Tales
Edith Nesbit
Children
1:39 h
Level 4
Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English writer and poet, who published her books for children as E. Nesbit. She wrote or collaborated on more than 60 such books. Pussy and Doggy Tales is a collection of cute stories written from the viewpoint of cats and dogs. It was published in 1899.

Pussy and Doggy Tales

by
E. Nesbit

Illustrations by
L. Kemp-Welch


Pussy Tales


Too Clever by Half

“TELL us a story, mother,” said the youngest kitten but three.

“You’ve heard all my stories,” said the mother cat, sleepily turning over in the hay.

“Then make a new one,” said the youngest kitten, so pertly that Mrs. Buff boxed her ears at once — but she laughed too. Did you ever hear a cat laugh? People say that cats often have occasion to do it.

“I do know one story,” she said; “but I’m not sure that it’s true, though it was told me by a most respectable brindled gentleman, a great friend of my dear mother’s. Hesaid he was a second cousin twenty-nine times removed of Mrs. Tabby White, the lady the story is about.”

“Oh, do tell it,” said all the kittens, sitting up very straight and looking at their mother with green anxious eyes.

“Very well,” she said kindly; “only if you interrupt I shall leave off.”

So there was silence in the barn, except for Mrs. Buff’s voice and the soft sound of pleased purring which the kittens made as they listened to the enchanting tale.


“Mrs. Tabby White seems to have been as clever a cat as ever went rat-catching in a pair of soft-soled shoes. She always knew just where a mouse would peep out of the wainscot, and she had her soft-sharp paw on him before he had time to know that he was not alone in the room. She knew how to catch nice breakfasts for herself andher children, a trick I will teach you, my dears, when the spring comes; she used to lie quite quietly among the ivy on the wall, and then take the baby birds out of the nest when the grown-up birds had gone to the grub-shop. Mrs. Tabby White was very clever, as I said — so clever that presently she was not satisfied with being at the very top of the cat profession.

“‘Cat-people have more sense than human people, of course,’ she said to herself; ‘but still there are some things one might learn from them. I must watch and see how they do things.’