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by A Mouse

The mice had met in council; 

They all looked haggard and worn, 

For the state of afairs was too terrible 

To be any longer borne 

Not a family out of mourning — 

There was crape on every hat. 

They were desperate: something must be done, 

And done at once, to the cat. 

An elderly member rose and said, 

"It might prove a possible thing 

To set the trap which they set for us — 

That one with the awful spring!" 

The suggestion was applauded 

Loudly, by one and all, 

Till somebody squeaked, 

''That trap would be about ninety-five times too small!" 

Then a medical mouse suggested — 

A little under his breath — 

They should confiscate the very first mouse  

That died a natural death; 

And he'd undertake to poison the cat, 

If they'd let him prepare that mouse. 

"There's not been a natural death," they shrieked, 

" Since the cat came into the house !" 

The smallest mouse in the council 

Arose with a solemn air, 

And, by way of increasing his stature, 

Rubbed up his whiskers and hair. 

He waited until there was silence 

All along the pantry-shelf, 

And then he said with dignity, 

"I will catch the cat myself! 

When next I hear her coming, 

Instead of running away,

I shall turn and face her boldly, 

And pretend to be at play: 

She will not see her danger, 

Poor creature ! I suppose; 

But as she stoops to catch me, 

I shall catch her by the nose!" 

The mice began to look hopeful. 

Yes, even the old ones, when 

A gray-haired sage said slowly, 

" And what will you do with her 


The champion, disconcerted. 

And replied with dignity, " Well, 

I think, if you'll all excuse me, 

'T'would be wiser not to tell. 

"We all have our inspirations — " 

This produced a general smirk — 

"But we are not all at liberty 

To explain just how they'll work. 

I ask you, then, to trust me : 

You need have no further fears — 

Consider our enemy done for!" 

The council gave three cheers. 

"I do believe she's coming!" 

Said a small mouse, nervously. 

"Run, if you like," said the champion, 

"But I shall wait and see!" 

And sure enough she was coming; 

The mice all scampered away 

Except the noble champion 

Who had made up his mind to stay. 

The mice had faith — of course they 


They were all of them noble souls, 

But a sort of general feeling 

Kept them safely in their holes 

Until some time in the evening; 

Then the boldest ventured out, 

And saw, happily in the distance, 

The cat prancing frantic about.

Rubbing its offended snout.