SOUP ON A SAUSAGE-PEG 565
see me, and I got to trust him, and-we became friends. He shared with me his bread and water^gave me cheese and sausage ; I lived well, but I must say that it was especially the good society that kept me there. He let me run upon his hand, his arm, and into his sleeve ; he let me creep about in his beard, and called me his little friend. I really got to love him, for these things are reciprocal. I forgot my mission in the wide world, forgot my sausage-peg in a crack in the floor—it's lying there still. I wished to stay where I was, for if I went away the poor prisoner would have no one at all, and that's having too little, in this world. / stayed, but he did not stay. He spoke to me very mournfully the last time, gave me twice as much bread and cheese as usual, and kissed his hand to me ; then he went away, and never came back. I don't know his history.
' " Soup on a sausage-peg ! " said the jailer, to whom I now went ; but I should not have trusted him. He took me in his hand, certainly, but he popped me into a cage, a treadmill. That 's a horrible engine, in which you go round and round without getting any farther ; and people laugh at you into the bargain.
' The jailer's granddaughter was a charming little thing, with a mass of curly hair that shone like gold, and such merry eyes, and such a smiling mouth !
' " You poor little mouse," she said, as she peeped into my ugly cage ; and she drew out the iron rod, and forth I jumped to the window board, and from thence to the roof spout. Free ! free ! I thought only of that, and not of the goal of my journey.
' It was dark, and night was coming on. I took up my quarters in an old tower, where dwelt a watchman and an owl. I trusted neither of them, and the owl least. That is a creature like a cat, who has the great failing that she eats mice. But one may be mistaken, and so was I, for this was a very respectable, well-educated old owl : she knew more than the watchman, and as much as I. The young owls were always making a racket; but " Do not make soup on a sausage-peg " were the hardest words she could prevail on herself to utter, she was so fondly attached to her family. Her conduct inspired me with so much