The Story of Mistress Pussy’s Mistake
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A very kind gentleman lived in a big house which was in the midst of a beautiful park. He had a beautiful cat of which he was very fond. Pussy was vey clever and his master knew very well that she would hurt the birds. So he put a pretty ribbon around Pussy’s neck and tied a little silver bell on that which used to tinkle whenever pussy moved and this warned the birds that she was near.
Pussy resented this, but pretended that she did not care. One day a bird was singing very sweetly on the bough of a tree which overhung a small lake. Pussy walked along under the tree, looking up she said: “Madam, you have a beautiful voice, and you are a very beautiful bird. I do wish I was close to you, I have grown old and I can’t hear so well.”
The bird laughed at Pussy and said: “Yes, Miss Puss, I can believe you that you wish to be near, not to see or hear me better, but to get hold of me.”
Pussy pretended not to hear the last remark, but said:”My beautiful bird, will you not come down so I can hear you better?”
“I can’t sing properly on the ground,” replied the bird. “You can come up here, even if you are not so furious as you look. But tell me, do you not find the bell you wear very trying to your nerves?”
“Oh no,” answered sly Pussy. “It is so pretty that I’m glad to wear it. My master thinks I am so beautiful that he likes to dress me well and the bell also helps him to find me.”
“I understand, and we birds are always glad to hear it, too.” answered the bird. She laughed at the Pussy and added, “You are certainly a very beautiful creature, Miss Puss.
Pussy all this time had very slowly climbed the tree, for she wanted the bird to think that she was old and slow as the bird had her bright eyes upon her. When Pussy reached the branch the bird was on, she stopped and seated herself.
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“Now, my pretty little friend, please sing to me your loudest song.”
She hoped it would be loud enough to drown the tinkle of the bell. The bird began to sing very sweetly. Pussy took a step very carefully but the bird heard the tinkle of the bell. She stopped singing and spread her wings, ready to fly.
“Oh, do not stop!” said Puss. “Your song was so soothing I was in a doze, do sing again.” And she moved a little closer.
The bird took a step nearer to the end of the bough and said: “I am glad you liked my voice. I will sing again if it pleases you so much.”
She began her song, but she kept her eyes on the Puss, as Puss drew nearer she moved closer to the end of the swinging bough.
When the bird reached a very high note, Puss gave a spring but the bird was too quick. She flew out of Pussy’s reach and splash went Pussy into the lake. Puss was concentrating on the bird and didn’t notice that the bird was moving to the end of the bough. Poor Pussy was wet when she scrambled to the bank of the lake while all the the birds were chirping and making a great noise.
“How did you like your bath, Miss Puss?” the bird called to her. “You should never lay traps for others, for often you fall into them yourself.”