THE CAT WHO MARRIED A MOUSE.
not look for long, however, for presently he went close up and began licking and licking the fat on the top of the jar, till it was nearly all gone. Then he took a walk on the roofs of the houses in the town, and at last stretched himself out in the sun and stroked his whiskers as often as he thought of the delicious feast he had had. As soon as the evening closed in he returned home.
" Oh ! here you are again," said the mouse. " Have you spent a pleasant day?"
"Yes, indeed," he replied. "Every thing passed off very well."
" And what name did they give the young kitten ? she asked.
" Top-off " said Tom, quite coolly.
" Top-off!" cried the mouse, " that is a curious and uncommon name ! Is it a family name ?"
" It is a very old name in our family," replied the cat, " and it is-not worse than Thieves> as your ancestors were called."
Poor little mousey made no reply, and for awhile nothing more was said about Tom's cousins.
But Tom could not forget the jar of meat in the Church, and the thought of it made him long so much, that he was obliged to invent another tale of a christening. So he told the little mouse that a lady cat, his aunt, had invited him this time, and that the kitten was a great beauty all black, excepting a white ring round its neck, so he could not refuse to be present.
"For one day, dear Mousey," he added, "you will do me this kindness and keep house at home alone ?"
The good little mouse willingly agreed, and Tom ran off; but as soon as he had reached the town, he jumped over the churchyard wall, and very quickly found his way to the place where the jar of meat was concealed. This iime he feasted so greedily that when he had finished the jar was more than half empty.
"It tastes as nice as it smells," said the cat, after his joyful day's work was over and he had had a nice nap. But as soon as he returned home the mouse asked what name had been given to the kitten this time ?
Tom was a little puzzled to know what to say, but at last he said, " Ah ! I remember now, they named it iHalf-gone' "
" Half-gone ! Why, Tom, what a queer name ! I never heard of it before in my life, and I api sure it cannot be found in the ' Register.'n