THE MOUSE THAT LOST HIS WHISKERS
tiger. " I won't have it! No, I won't! Where is that mouse? I'll go and tell him what I think of him! "
He went into the scullery and smelt the mouse under the mangle. He put a paw there and tried to get the frightened mouse out. " Oho! So it's you that my mistress has taken my whiskers for! " hissed the cat. " You nasty, creeping little creature! How dare you come here and ask for my whiskers? "
" I d-d-d-didn't," said the mouse, trembling. " Dame Longnose offered them to me for a week's work."
" Well, as soon as I see you wearing my whiskers, I shall eat you up," said the cat, fiercely. " I shall get my whiskers back that way! Ho ho! What a joke! All right, mouse, you may wear my whiskers to-morrow— but remember—I shall have you for my dinner, as sure as I can lap milk! "
With that the cat went back to the kitchen, feeling pleased with himself. As for Woffles he was in a terrible way. He wanted those whiskers— but he didn't want to be the cat's dinner! Oh no, that would be dreadful.
" I'd better run away whilst I've got the chance," thought poor Woffles. " I daren't stay here now. The cat is so angry because I'm to have some of his whiskers. Well, I must just go without them, that's all! "
He waited until he thought the cat was fast asleep, then he went to the door, slipped under it and ran for his life. His face was still tied up in his handkerchief, for he had not untied it all the week. He still felt so ashamed of not having any whiskers.
He took his little bag with him, but he didn't want to go home. People would be so surprised to see him with his face still tied up. He hid in a ditch until the morning came and then he set out on his way again. Presently he met a hedgehog, who shouted good morning to him.
" Where are you going? " he asked.
" I want to buy some new whiskers somewhere," said Woffles. " Do you know where I can get some ? "
" Well, why not try a toy-shop? " said the prickly hedgehog. " You know, toy rabbits, cats and dogs all have whiskers, so I daresay if you went to a toy-shop you could get some fine ones there quite cheaply."
" Oh thank you! That's a splendid idea! " said Woffles gratefully, wondering why he hadn't thought of it before. He hurried on until he came to a small village and then he looked for a toy-shop. He found one