The Rat, The Dormouse and The Robin
T here was once a wicked rat who went about causing sadness and misery, and thought himself the cleverest animal in the world.
But he got caught in a trap! It was a cage-trap, and had an opening at one end. Inside the trap was a strong-smelling kipper. The rat sniffed round the trap and could not see how it might catch him. " If I go in at that door I can also go out of it," he thought to himself. " So here goes! I'll eat that kipper up in no time."
He slipped in at the open endóbut no sooner did he pull at the kipper than the hook it was on jerked a little rod, and the rod neatly shut a door down at the open end! The rat was caught! He flashed round in a moment to try and get outóbut it was too late.
He ran round and round the cage like a mad thing. To think that he, the cleverest rat in all the world, should be caught in a silly cage like this! He made such a noise that he woke up a dormouse who was sleeping in a hole near by.
" What's the matter? " asked the dormouse in astonishment, staring at the angry rat running round his cage.
" Matter enough! " said the rat. " Here am I in this cage and cannot get out 1 And oh, dormouse, my wife is ill, and my little ones are hungry. It is a sad, sad thing."
Now the rat had long ago run away from his wife, and he had eaten his own little ones. But he hoped to make the dormouse feel so sorry for