2 THE CAT AND THE MOUSE
herself out in the sun, and licked her lips whenever she thought of the little pot of fat. As soon as it was evening she went home again. ' Ah, here you are again !' said the Mouse ; ' you must certainly have had an enjoyable day.'
' It went off very well.' answered "the Cat. ' What was the child's name ? f asked the Mouse. ' Top Off,said the Cat drily.
'Topoff! ' echoed the Mouse, 'it is .indeed a wonderful and curious name. Is it in your family ?
' Wha,t is there odd about it ? ' said the,Cat. ' It is not worse
than Breaddthief, as your godchild is called.'
Not long after this another great longing came over the Cat.' She said to the Mouse, You must again be kind enough to look after the house alone, for I have been asked a second time to stand godmother, and as this child has a white ring round its neck, I cannot refuse.'
The kind Mouse agreed, but the Cat slunk under the town wall to the church, and ate up half of the pot of fat. ' Nothing tastes better,' said she, ' than what one eats by oneself,' and she was very much pleased with her day's work. When she came home the Mouse asked, ' What was this child called ? '
' Half Gone,' answered the Cat.
' Halfgone ! what a name ! I have never heard it in my life. I don't believe it is in the calendar.'
Soon the Cat's mouth began to water once more after her licking business. ' All good things in threes,' she said to the Mouse ; ' I have again to stand godmother. The child is quite black, and has very white paws, but not a single white hair on its body. This only happens once in two years, so you will let me go out ? '
' Topoff! Halfgone !' repeated the Mouse, ' they are such curious names ; they make me very thoughtful.'
' Oh, you sit at home in your dark grey coat and your long tail,' said the Cat, ' and you get fanciful. That comes of not going out in the day.'