906 BROWNIE AND THE DAME
earth is lovely', he made quite a sermon about, in his own way.
' The earth is lovely, make it subject unto you ! was said, and we became its rulers. Some are so with the mind, some with the body ; one is sent into the world like an exclamation mark, another like a printer's dash, so that one may well ask, " What is he doing here ? " One becomes a bishop, another only a poor schoolmaster, but all is wisely ordered. The earth is lovely, and always in its Sunday dress ! That was a thought-stirring poem, dame, full of feeling and geography.'
' You have soul, Mr. Kisserup,' said the dame, (much soul, I assure you ! One gets clearness in oneself, when one talks with you.'
And so they went on talking, as beautifully and as well; but out in the kitchen, there was also one who talked, and that was the brownie, the little brownie dressed in grey with a red cap. You know him ! Brownie sat in the kitchen, and was the pot-watcher ; he talked, but no one heard him except the big black pussy cat, ' Cream-thief ', as the dame called him.
The brownie was so angry with her, because she did not believe in his existence, he knew; she had certainly never seen him, but still she must, with all her learning, know that he did exist, and might have shown him a little attention. It never occurred to her on Christmas Eve, to set so much as a spoonful of porridge down for him ; all his ancestors had got that, and had got it from dames who had absolutely no learning ; the porridge had been swimming in butter and cream. It made the cat's mouth water to hear of it.
' She calls me an idea ! ' said the brownie, * that is beyond all my ideas. She actually denies me ! That I have listened to, and now I have listened again; she sits and wheezes to that boy-whacker, the student. I say with the goodman, " Mind your pot! " that she doesn't do; now I shall make it boil over ! ' And Brownie puffed at the fire, which blazed and burned. ' Hubble-bubble-hish,' —the pot boiled over. ' Now I shall go in and make holes in the goodman's socks!' said Brownie, * I will unravel a big hole in the toe and the heel, so there will be something