THE MOUSE THAT LOST HIS WHISKERS
" Dame Longnose, I've lost my whiskers," said Woffles. " Could you get me some new ones ? "
" I might take a few from my cat," said Dame Longnose. u But you'll have to work for me for a week if you want new whiskers."
" Very well," said Woffles, with a sigh. He felt sure that Dame Longnose would work him very hard indeed. And she did\ He had to be up early every morning and light the fire. Then he had to clean the cottage, and when that was done he had to go and chop firewood for an hour. All the time he tried to keep out of the way of the old dame's cat, who lay dozing in a warm basket by the fire. Luckily for Woffles the dame fed her cat very well indeed and he was not very much interested in mice.
One night, when Woffles was sleeping peacefully under the mangle in the scullery, he heard the cat hissing and spitting at Dame Longnose. Then he heard a smack, and then more hissing and spitting. He trembled and wondered what the matter was.
It was the old dame asking her cat for some of his fine whiskers for
Woffles the mouse. Woffles had done a week's work and the witch meant to pay him the next day by giving him six of her cat's big white whiskers. But the cat was angry about it and hissed and spat whenever the old dame cut one off —though he could well spare a few for he had a most magnificent set of whiskers, really far too thick.
The old woman took the six whiskers and put them into a box, ready for the morning. Then she went to her bed, lay down, and soon began to snore. The cat felt very angry.
" To think that my fine whiskers should go to a miserable little mouse! " he raged, as he walked up and down the kitchen like a