Big-Hands and Nobbly
O nce upon a time Nobbly the Goblin quarrelled with Big-Hands the Gnome. They lived next door to one another and had always been good friends till this quarrel.
It was a very silly quarrel, really. It happened that Tip-tap the butcher had called at Nobbly's with his meat, and Nobbly was out. So the butcher had left it on the window-sill—and when Nobbly came home he saw Big-Hands' cat licking the meat!
He rushed in to Big-Hands' Cottage in a furious rage.
" That cat of yours has licked my meat! " he cried. " Smack it, Big-Hands, smack it! "
" Certainly not," said Big-Hands, who was very fond of his cat. " How can you expect a cat not to lick meat if it is left on a window-sill. You should go and scold the butcher for doing such a foolish thing. Why, any other cat but mine would have stolen the meat and taken it away to eat it! I think my cat should be praised, not punished for only just Hcking the meat. It must very badly have wanted to steal it altogether! "
Just at that moment the cat came in, Hcking its lips. Nobbly flew at it, and gave it a hard smack, so that it mewed in dismay and fled to a corner.
Big-Hands was very angry. He rushed at Nobbly and shook him— but Nobbly was a bony person to shake. He had great bony feet and long skinny arms and a nobbly head. Big-Hands soon let him go—and then Nobbly fled to his cottage crying " I'll pay you out for this, so I will! "
And he did too. He reaUy was very naughty indeed. He threw aU his rubbish over the waU into Big-Hands' garden. He Hghted his bonfire when