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The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by  Clifton Johnson
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TITTY MOUSE AND TATTY MOUSE

[187]

T
ITTY MOUSE and Tatty Mouse lived in a house, and one day when they were hungry they went out into a wheat field that was near by, and Titty Mouse brought home an ear of wheat and Tatty Mouse brought home an ear of wheat. Titty Mouse took her ear of wheat and picked all the grain out of the husks, and Tatty Mouse took her ear of wheat and picked all the grain out of the husks.

Then Titty Mouse put her wheat in the pot to boil, and Tatty Mouse put her wheat in the pot to boil; and when the wheat was boiled Titty Mouse [188] was taking the pot off the fire and her foot slipped and the hot water from the pot splashed on her. She was scalded so badly that she went to bed sick, and Tatty sat down and cried.

A three-legged stool saw the tears dropping from Tatty's eyes, and it asked, "Tatty, why do you weep?"

"Titty's sick," replied Tatty, "and so I weep."

"Then I'll hop," said the stool. So the stool hopped.

A broom in the corner of the room saw the stool hopping and it asked, "Stool, why do you hop?"

"Oh!" replied the stool, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, and so I hop."

"Then I'll sweep," said the broom. So the broom began to sweep.

The door saw the broom sweeping and it asked, "Broom, why do you sweep?"

"Oh!" replied the broom, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and so I sweep."

"Then I'll creak," said the door. So the door creaked.

Just outside the door by the house wall stood an old bench, and when the door creaked the bench asked, "Door, why do you creak?"

[189] "Oh," replied the door, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, and so I creak."

"Then I'll run round the house," said the old bench. So the old bench ran round the house.

A fine large walnut-tree grew in the yard and shadowed the house very pleasantly, and when the tree saw the bench running it asked, "Bench, why do you run round the house?"

"Oh!" replied the bench, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door creaks, and so I run round the house."

"Then I'll shed my leaves," said the walnut-tree. So the walnut-tree let fall all its beautiful green leaves.

A little bird was perched on one of the boughs of the tree, and when the leaves all dropped to the ground the bird asked, "Walnut-tree, why do you shed your leaves?"

"Oh!" replied the tree, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door creaks, the old bench runs round the house, and so I shed my leaves."

"Then I'll moult all my feathers," said the little bird. So it let fall all its pretty feathers.

[190] When the feathers came drifting down to the ground a little girl happened to be walking along under the tree carrying a pail of milk for her brothers' and sisters' supper. She looked up and asked, "Little bird, why do you drop all your feathers?"

"Oh!" replied the little bird, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door creaks, the old bench runs round the house, the walnut-tree sheds its leaves, and so I moult all my feathers."

"Then I'll spill the milk," said the little girl. So she dropped the pail and spilled the milk.

Not far away an old man was climbing up a ladder to mend the roof of the barn. He saw the little girl drop her pail and he asked, "Little girl, what do you mean by spilling the milk? Your brothers and sisters will now have no milk for their supper."

"Oh!" replied the little girl, "Titty's sick, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door creaks, the old bench runs round the house, the walnut-tree sheds its leaves, the little bird moults all its feathers, and so I spill the milk."

"Then I'll tumble off the ladder," said the old man. So he tumbled off the ladder; and the little [191] girl was frightened and ran away; and the little bird as frightened and wanted to get away too, but it had moulted all its feathers and when it tried to fly it dropped to the ground. Then the great walnut-tree fell right on the house and smashed it all to pieces; and when the house came down the old bench was upset and the door was knocked out, and the door in falling upset the broom, and the broom fell against the stool and upset that; and poor little Titty Mouse and poor little Tatty Mouse were buried beneath the ruins. But whether they were hurt or not I have never heard said.


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