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Title: Three little kittens who lost their mittens

Author: Laura Rountree Smith

Illustrator: F. R. Morgan

Release date: September 23, 2023 [eBook #71710]

Language: English

Original publication: Racine: Whitman Publishing Co, 1919

Credits: Bob Taylor, Charlene Taylor and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)




Title page

Three Little Kittens
Who Lost Their Mittens

By Laura Rountree Smith

Pictures by F. R. Morgan


Whitman Publishing Co.

Whitman Publishing Co.

Table of Contents

I Losing Their Mittens 11
II Old Mother Catastrophe 25
III The Three Little Foxes 37
IV Grandpa Growler and the Three Bears 52
V The Surprise Party 66

List of Illustrations

Whisk Bound, Into the Sandman’s Bag Frontispiece
She Sent Them, Without Supper, to Bed 15
Three Little Foxes Wearing Three Pairs of Mittens 19
Old Mother Catastrophe Stuck Her Head out of the Window 23
In Walked Grandpa Growler 43
They Went on Until They Came to the House of the Three Bears 47
They Began to Eat Porridge as Fast as They Could 51
They Ran This Way and That Way Cooking and Making Cookies and Pies 55
Hurrah for Three Little Kittens 59
The Three Little Foxes Ran Away Again 63

Three Little Kittens

[Pg 11]


Once upon a time Three Little Kittens went out to slide upon the ice.

Old Mother Kit-Cat called after them, “Dot, Tot, Trot, you have forgotten your mittens.”

They came back pitter, patter, pitter, patter, as fast as their furry little feet would carry them.

Old Mother Kit-Cat said,

“Oh Three Little Kittens,
Come put on your mittens,”

Who Lost Their Mittens

and she handed Dot a pair of red mittens,[Pg 12] and Tot a pair of blue mittens, and Trot a pair of brown mittens, and the Three Little Kittens went merrily off to skate.

“I don’t like to wear mittens,” said Dot.

“I don’t like to either,” said Tot.

Trot said, “Oh meow, they squeeze my paws.”

Now, what do you suppose those naughty little kittens did?

They took off their mittens and left them on the bank by the ice pond.

They put on their cunning little skates and began to skate to and fro, to and fro, and the wind whistled and called,

“I may freeze your paws and toes,
Nobody knows—nobody knows.”

[Pg 13]

“My long whiskers,” cried Dot, “How cold it is skating on the ice.”

“By my long tail,” said Tot, “How cold my paws are.”

Trot said, “We will go back at once to the bank and get our mittens.”

The Three Little Kittens did not know that Three Little Foxes had crept up on the bank.

They did not know that the little Foxes said,

“See the nice little mittens,
Left here by the kittens.”

They did not know that the Three Little Foxes had put on their mittens and had run away, waving their beautiful tails behind them.

[Pg 14]

When the Three Little Kittens got to the bank and saw that their mittens were gone, Dot and Tot cried together,

“We are sad little Kittens,
We have lost our new mittens.”

Brave little Trot said,

“We are smart little Kittens,
We’ll go find our mittens.”

Then Dot and Tot dried their eyes on their little wee pocket handkerchiefs and said, “You are so cheerful brother Trot we will follow where you lead.”

The Three Little Kittens looked one hour and thirty-six minutes for their mittens, but they could not find them and so they went sadly homeward.

[Pg 15]


[Pg 16]

Old Mother Kit-Cat stood in the doorway looking for them.

She cried,

“Go back, go back you naughty Kittens,
Go back and pick up your nice new mittens.”

The Three Little Kittens hung their heads and said,

“We put them on the bank to dry,
We hope to find them by and by.”

“You naughty Kittens” Old Kit-Cat said.

She sent them, without supper, to bed.

The Three Little Kittens cried, “Meow, meow, meow. Can’t we have a dish of milk? Can’t we have a chicken bone?”

[Pg 17]

Old Mother Kit-Cat shook her head, so the Three Little Kittens went pit-a-pat pit-a-pat, up stairs to bed.

They were so hungry they kept talking about good things to eat and that made them want their supper more and more.

“Fish and bones” said Dot, “Milk and cream,” said Tot, “Meat and gravy” said Trot.

Old Mother Kit-Cat called,

“Hush, be still, for over the hill,
The Sandman comes his bag to fill.”

At this, the Three Little Kittens pulled the covers high up over their heads, for they did not want the Sandman to tuck them in his bag.

[Pg 18]


The Sandman came up over the hill and peeped in at the window.

He saw the beds where the Three Little Kittens lay with the covers pulled up over their heads. He sang softly,

“Oh ho, Little Kittens,
I saw your lost mittens.”

“Where? Where? Where?” cried the Three Little Kittens in one breath uncovering their heads.

[Pg 19]


The Sandman answered in a sing-song-lazy kind of way,

[Pg 20]

“Come jump in the sack,
I have on my back.”

The Three Little Kittens were thinking so hard about their mittens that they forgot to be afraid and they went whisk! bound! into the Sandman’s sack and rode merrily far away over hill and dale, away, away, away.

Suddenly the Sandman’s sack broke and out fell the Three Little Kittens.

The Sandman did not notice what had happened, and he ran on leaving the Three Little Kittens behind him.

They saw a little wee house in the woods and ran and knocked on the door.

Old Mother Catastrophe, the oldest Cat[Pg 21] in the world stuck her head out of the window and called,

“Did you happen to have a mishap?
You sadly disturbed me from my nap.”

The Three Little Kittens answered,

“Old Mother Catastrophe, kind and good,
We are Three Little Kittens lost in the wood.”

Old Mother Catastrophe always knew what to do, she opened her door and hugged and kissed the Three Little Kittens and said to the delight of all, “NOW FOR THE COOKIE JAR.”

She put a cookie jar on the floor and the Three Little Kittens put in their three[Pg 22] little paws without saying “By your leave, or thank you, or if you please.”

Then what do you suppose happened?

The cookie jar rose in the air and settled down out of reach, on the highest shelf in the pantry.

The Three Little Kittens cried “Oh” and “Ah” and “What happened to the cookie jar?”

Old Mother Catastrophe said,

“I do not really mean to tease,
But learn some little words like these,

The Three Little Kittens said, “Thank you, thank you, please give us a cookie, please do.”

[Pg 23]


[Pg 24]

At that, the cookie-jar floated down again and they ate cookies to their hearts’ content.

They told Old Mother Catastrophe about their lost mittens but she only shook her wise old head and said,

“Enough said, enough said,
Night time is the time for bed.”

She tucked the Three Little Kittens up in her own bed.

Dot and Tot and Trot fell asleep wondering about their lost mittens.


[Pg 25]


Next morning Dot and Tot and Trot woke up crying, “I am hungry, I am hungry, I am hungry.”

They ran downstairs but Old Mother Catastrophe was nowhere to be seen.

There was no fire in the kitchen stove.

Dot and Tot began to cry but brave little Trot said,

“I believe I’ll sing a little verse.
It might be better, it might be worse.”

Then, to the surprise of all a little silver bell rang and a voice called,

[Pg 26]

“Old Mother Catastrophe’s old and gray,
Who will bring in her wood to-day?”

“I will, I will, I will,” cried the Three Little Kittens together.

They saw that the wood-box was empty.

The Three Little Kittens went out and got wood and filled the box.

They thought they had brought in enough but a voice called,

“Day and night, hours four and twenty,
Get a plenty, get a plenty.”

The Little Kittens were so amused they tumbled over each other and hurried out to get more wood.

They next heard the tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, of a silver bell and the voice said,

[Pg 27]

“So far, so good, so far, so good,
For now we find enough of wood.”

The Three Little Kittens were happy now.

“Oh, I wonder what else we can do,” asked Dot
“Perhaps, there isn’t anything else we can do,” said Tot
“Well, we soon will know,” added Trot.

As the Three Kittens stood there looking at each other, the same tinkle tinkle of the same silver bell was heard by them.

“I wonder what that means,” cried Dot and Tot.

This is what the little silver voice now said.

[Pg 28]

“Who can get breakfast, may I inquire,
Until they have made a good kitchen fire?”

Then the Three Little Kittens made a fire and soon it was roaring merrily.

Then the little bell tinkled again and a voice said,

“Old Mother Catastrophe’s old and gray,
Who will bring in her water to-day?”

“I will, I will, I will,” cried the Three Little Kittens, and they went out for a pail of water and filled up the tea-kettle. And to the surprise of all, there stood Old Mother Catastrophe in the door way wearing a cap with silver bells upon it.

She said,

[Pg 29]

“Tis well to work as well as play,
And learn some lessons every day.”

Dot thought of the empty wood box at home and Tot remembered that the tea-kettle was empty.

Trot thought they could help mother when they got home.

Old Mother Catastrophe hugged and kissed each Little Kitten in turn and in less time than it takes to tell it, they sat down to eat breakfast together.

Old Mother Catastrophe said, “I am going to see Old Mother Kit-Cat to-day, and you may keep house while I am gone.”

Then she cried, “Where are my rubbers? Where is my great-coat? Where is my market basket? Where is my walking stick?”

[Pg 30]

The Three Little Kittens ran this way and that way waiting upon her.

She said in parting,

“Laugh and play with merry din,
But do not let the Foxes in.”

“The FOXES,” said Dot and Tot, “Oh dear, oh dear we are afraid of the FOXES.”

Trot said, “I am not afraid of the FOXES, we will not let them in.”

The Three Little Kittens stood at the window waving their pocket handkerchiefs as Mother Catastrophe went down the walk.

“I think you can have a better play,
If the dishes are washed and put away,”

sang the Little Old Man of the Fire, so[Pg 31] the Three Little Kittens found three little aprons hanging on a nail and they put them on and washed and dried the dishes and put them away.

All day long they danced about merrily doing nice things for Mother Catastrophe and the Little Old Man of the Fire shouted merrily all the time.

Once he shouted,

“Oh Three Little Kittens,
Tell, where are your mittens?”

“Our mittens,” cried Dot and Tot, “Oh dear, oh dear, we had forgotten all about our mittens.”

At this very minute a very exciting thing happened.

[Pg 32]

Three Little Foxes wearing three pairs of mittens came dancing down the roadway.


They ran up to the house and showed the mittens they were wearing, and they flattened their noses against the window pane.

They cried, “Let us in, pray let us in, we are so cold we are freezing our noses and toeses.”

I don’t know what in the world would have happened but the Little Old Man of the Fire leaped out in his jacket of red and yellow, crying,

[Pg 33]

“I will burn your nose, I will burn your toes,
So away and away the wise fox goes.”

The Three Little Foxes were so afraid at that they ran off as fast as their legs could carry them.

They wore the mittens of course that belonged to the Kittens.

Dot and Tot began to weep and wail,

“Oh dear, oh dear, we have lost our mittens,
Oh dear, oh dear, we are sad little kittens.”

If you guessed one hundred years you could never guess what brave little Trot did.

[Pg 34]

He ran and got the old gold-fish bowl that stood empty on the table and said, “Will you cry a bowl full? Will you cry a pitcher full? Will you cry a tea-kettle full;—keep it up, keep it up.”

Dot and Tot did not shed another tear and the Little Old Man of the Fire said,

“If you can count your eyes and nose,
’Tis supper time as I suppose.”

Such a hurrying and scurrying you never saw as the hands of the kitchen clock pointed to six.

The Three Little Kittens had supper on the table and smoking hot, when Old Mother Catastrophe came thump, bump, thump, bump, with her cane, rapping and tapping, with her cane, all the way.

[Pg 35]

When they told their adventure at supper time Old Mother Catastrophe said,

“First class in Foxes come this way,
And hear what Catastrophe has to say.”

Then she said they would have to learn all about Foxes and go to-morrow to the foxes’ den and get their lost mittens.

Dot and Tot were so scared at the mention of Foxes that they crept under the table but brave little Trot said,

“Dear Mother Catastrophe, old and gray,
We are not afraid if you’ll lead the way.”

Old Mother Catastrophe rolled her great green eyes and said,

[Pg 36]

“What about my lame leg and crooked back?
’Tis a mile away, alas! alack!”

Brave little Trot said, “We will take you in the wheel-barrow and wheel you right up to the Foxes’ den if you will only go with us.”

Mother Catastrophe agreed to this, and they all sat round in a circle while she told them about Foxes.

She began by saying,

“Alas! Little Kittens! alas! Little Kittens,
Three Little Foxes have stolen your mittens.”

[Pg 37]


Old Mother Catastrophe said,

“I will tell you once again,
How to arrive at the Foxes’ den.”

Dot and Tot said, “Oh Mother Catastrophe, we would rather never find our mittens than to have to go to the Foxes’ den.”

Trot said, “Please tell us how to find our lost mittens.”

Mother Catastrophe said, “You go through the woods by the most crooked path you can find, and turn to the right, and turn to the left, to see if the Foxes are behind[Pg 38] you, if all is still you go on until you come to their den,

“When Madam Red Fox comes out you bow politely and say,

“Good evening, good morning and how do you do?
We have come to pay a visit to you.”

At that very minute Dot and Tot began to weep and wail. They cried until little streams of tears showed on the carpet.

Mother Catastrophe said, “Will they cry a bucket full? Will they cry a tub full?”

Still Dot and Tot cried, “Boo-hoo, we do not want to go to the Foxes’ den.”

Trot went out and got the washboiler and said, “Cry it full so Mother Catastrophe[Pg 39] can perhaps make use of it.”

But still they cried. While Tot cried loudly, Dot moved the washboiler so that none of their tears would fall inside.

“We are afraid of the Foxes, we do not want to go to their den.”

Old Mother Catastrophe waited for them to stop crying but they would not stop.

“It’s silly quite for you to cry,
You’ll lose all fear by and by.”

“Must we go to the Foxes’ den?” asked both Dot and Tot.

“We’ll do whatever Mother Catastrophe says,” replied Trot.

Then they started to cry again.

Trot brought the washboiler again. “If you cry hard into this, Mother Catastrophe[Pg 40] will have soft water to wash her clothes in.”

Then Dot and Tot began to laugh instead of cry and Mother Catastrophe said,

“If manners you really want to know,
Bow politely, and stand in a row.”

The Three Little Kittens stood up in a row and bowed politely.

Old Mother Catastrophe said,

“Dot will make a bow next, and say to Madam Red Fox, How is your cousin the Kit-Fox? Has he changed his coat this season?”

Dot said, “Do Foxes change their coats? Do tell us about it.”

“Of course they change their coats,”[Pg 41] said Mother Catastrophe. “The Kit-Fox wears a coat of one color in the summer, and another color in the winter.

“Tot may next make a bow and say, How is your cousin the Cross-Fox? He is not really a very cross Fox but he is named from his markings.”

“At this very minute little Trot may shout at the top of his lungs,

“We are the kittens who lost our mittens,
Oh, Red Fox, give them to us to-day,
Oh, we are the Kittens who lost our mittens,
But truly Red Fox we’ve not come to stay.”

[Pg 42]

“You must thank Madam Red Fox when she hands you the mittens.”

Trot went out to get the wheel-barrow for they were going to wheel Mother Catastrophe to the Foxes’ den.

They helped her into the wheel-barrow and went through the woods by the most crooked paths they could find.

Suddenly they all stopped still and Trot said, “What if Madam Red Fox should not be at home?”

“Old Mother Catastrophe answered,

“I’m Mother Catastrophe, old and gray,
I don’t cross a bridge while on the way.”

Dot and Tot said, “Where is the bridge? We don’t see any bridge at all.”

[Pg 43]


[Pg 44]

Old Mother Catastrophe said,

“You can have good manners, if you choose,
You had better mind your “P’s” and “Q’s.”

“Our “P’s” and “Q’s” repeated the Three Little Kittens.

At that very minute they heard the “patter, patter, patter” of feet behind them.

“The Foxes, the Foxes,” cried the Three Little Kittens, “Oh where shall we hide?”

They turned over the wheel-barrow and crept under it, and to the surprise of all, Old Mother Kit-Cat came down the path singing,

“Where are the three Kittens,
Who once lost their mittens?”

[Pg 45]

“Here we are, here we are,” they all shouted rumbling and tumbling out from under the wheel-barrow.

They hugged and kissed all around and Mother Kit-Cat said,

“Come let us journey on again,
Until we come to the Foxes’ den.”

So, on and on, they went, Old Mother Catastrophe riding in the wheel-barrow all the way, and the wind whistled a merry tune,

“You’ll not find your mittens,
You Three Little Kittens,
They were stolen away,
For a year and a day.”

“Hark! What does the Wind say about[Pg 46] our mittens?” asked the Three Little Kittens. They shouted at the top of their lungs, “We cannot spare our mittens for a year and a day, perhaps the wind is only teasing.”

“The Wind may be false, the Wind may be true
We’ll accomplish what we set out to do,”

said Mother Catastrophe, and they drew nearer and nearer the Foxes’ den every step they took.

Dot and Tot said, “By our long whiskers, we wish we were home.”

[Pg 47]


Trot said,

“We are on an adventure bound,
Perhaps the mittens will soon be found.”

[Pg 48]

At that very minute they came upon the Foxes’ Den and they were all surprised to read a sign in big letters,


“Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah,” cried the Three Little Kittens, “We will go to the home of Three Little Bears who live in[Pg 49] the woods. Hurrah for the three little friendly Bears.”

Old Mother Kit-Cat said, “Indeed, I think you will come home with me.”

Old Mother Catastrophe said,

“I do not like in the woods to roam,
Come, Three Little Kittens, and wheel me home.”

They all took turns in wheeling Mother Catastrophe home, and then they ran beside Mother Kit-Cat until they came to their neat little house at the edge of the woods.

They said,

“Tis dark within the Foxes’ den,
We hope we’ll not go there again.”

[Pg 50]

The Wind whistled merrily,

“Oh Three Little Kittens, oh Three Little Kittens,
Three Little Bears are wearing your mittens.”

The Three Little Kittens said, “Oh Ma, may we go to the house of The Three Bears to-morrow?”

Old Mother Kit-Cat washed their faces and said, “When to-morrow comes we shall see.”

[Pg 51]


[Pg 52]


Next morning early, Dot and Tot and Trot woke up crying,

“We’re good Little Kittens,
May we find our mittens?
Old Mother Kit-Cat, we’re coming down stairs,
We’re good Little Kittens,
We’ll go find our mittens,
If we may repair to the home of Three Bears.”

Old Mother Kit-Cat answered, “What do you know about Bears? You cannot understand Bear Language.”

[Pg 53]

“Boo hoo, boo hoo,” cried the Three Little Kittens,
“Old Mother Kit-Cat we must find our mittens.”

Mother Kit-Cat looked at the Three Little Kittens over her spectacles and The Little Old Man of the Fire said,

“To interrupt is quite absurd,
In Politeness Land, I’ve heard.”

The Three Little Kittens hung their heads and sat very still in their three little rocking chairs by the fire.

At this very minute, “Rap-a-tap” was heard at the door. The door opened, and in walked Grandpa Growler, the friendliest Bear in the world.

[Pg 54]

The Three Little Kittens cried, “Oh Grandpa Growler have you some candy for us? Oh Grandpa Growler have you come to tell us a story?”

He answered,

“Three Little Kittens all like to tease,
Come, let me get my breath, if you please.”

He sat down by the fire and growled and growled. He was a peculiar Bear and always growled the loudest when he was happy. He was very happy now warming his paws by the cheerful fire.

He was a sure enough Story Teller and he began in a sing-song kind of way, “Once upon a time Three Little Kittens lost their mittens.”

[Pg 55]


[Pg 56]

“How did you know?” asked Dot.

“How did you know?” asked Tot.

Trot said, “Oh Grandpa, please go on with your story.”

Grandpa Growler growled again pleasantly and said,

“Three little Foxes are trying to fit on
Three little mittens from Three Little Kittens.”

“Didn’t they really, truly fit?” asked Dot and Tot.

Trot said as before, “Oh Grandpa, go on with your story, please.”

At this Grandpa Growler removed his spectacles and said,

“Three little Foxes I do declare,
[Pg 57]
Are just as shy as Three Little Bears,
The thing to you may seem quite funny,
They traded the mittens for milk and honey.”

The Three Little Kittens joined paws and whirled round singing,

“The Three Little Bears have our mittens ho, ho,
To their little wee house in the woods we must go.”

Grandpa Growler was always in a hurry to do things so he growled again pleasantly saying,

“I will not wait a year and a day,
We’ll start away, and make no delay.”

[Pg 58]

Before the Three Little Kittens could say a word he had tucked Dot and Tot in his overcoat pockets, and he tucked Trot in his market basket and walked off in his funny flat-footed manner.

The Little Kittens felt safe but Dot and Tot whispered to each other, “What if we should fall? What if we should meet the Bears in the woods?”

They went on and on until they came to the House of the Three Bears.

They could hear the Bears scolding about somebody eating their porridge and sitting in their chairs.


Grandpa Growler walked right in and said,

[Pg 59]

[Pg 60]

“Such a grumbling I never heard,
Three Little Bears, it’s quite absurd.”

Then he growled as loud as he could, and the Three Bears stopped their noise.

All would have gone well I am sure, if the porridge had not smelled so good.

All of a sudden the Three Little Kittens jumped on the table and began to eat porridge as fast as they could.

“Ho, ho,” cried the Three Bears, “so we have more visitors.” They thought the Three Little Kittens so cute they hugged them most too hard but Grandpa Growler said,

“Make your best bow, you Three Little Kittens,
[Pg 61]
And ask, politely, for news of the mittens.”

“THE MITTENS!” shouted the Three Bears in one breath. Then they cried,

“The Three Little Foxes are very sly
They brought us the mittens only to try.”

“Didn’t they fit you?” asked Dot.

“Didn’t they fit you?” asked Tot.

“Where can they be now?” asked Trot.

The Three Bears said,

“You dear little Kittens, we gave up the mittens,
To three little Squirrels who live in the woods.”

“Squirrels,” said Dot and Tot.

[Pg 62]

“Curly-Tails,” said Trot.

They had a fine visit with the Three Bears and by and by went merrily homeward in the moonlight.

Grandpa Growler swung a lighted lantern before them growling softly all the time.

He was very fond of fish and kept saying under his breath, “I wish I had some trout, I wish I had some salmon. I am so hungry I could eat Three Little Kittens.”

The Three Little Kittens were not at all afraid for this was one of Grandpa Growler’s jokes.

[Pg 63]


When they got home Old Mother Kit-Cat said,

“If I were a fairy to grant you a wish,
What would you like to eat better than fish?”

[Pg 64]

“FISH” roared Grandpa Growler so loudly that the roof nearly came off.

Old Mother Kit-Cat brought in a dish of fish for all and Grandpa Growler said,

“If you’ll invite me I’d like to stay,
While the Three Little Kittens journey away,
For Three Little Squirrels are wearing the mittens,
That really belong to Three Little Kittens.”

“Squirrels,” said Dot and Tot.

“Curly-Tails,” said Trot.

They soon went merrily to bed.

[Pg 65]

All this time Three Little Foxes wearing three pairs of mittens were dancing merrily in the moonlight.

The Little Old Man of the Fire sang,

“Oh Three Little Kittens, oh Three Little Kittens,
I fear me, the Foxes are wearing your mittens.”

“You mean squirrels,” said Dot and Tot sleepily.

“You mean Curly-Tails,” said Trot.

The Little Old Man of the Fire sang his song, but I don’t know what he knew about the matter.

[Pg 66]


Old Mother Kit-Cat sat knitting as usual one evening and her needles went “click, click, click,” when “a rap-a-tap” was heard at the door and in walked Grandpa Growler saying,

“A surprise party, a surprise party,
Here I am alive and hearty.”

Old Mother Kit-Cat’s eyes got as big as saucers and she said, “I am afraid you let the Cat out of the Bag that time Grandpa. Who told you about a surprise party?”

Grandpa Growler replied,

[Pg 67]

“I say such funny things most of the time,
Whether I’m talking in prose or in rhyme.”

He growled so pleasantly at that, that the Three Little Kittens got the very best rocking chair for him and the hair-cloth footstool, and said, “Sit here, grandpa, in the rocking chair by the fire.”

Old Mother Kit-Cat was wondering if he was really only joking about a surprise party when “rap-a-tap” was heard on the door and the Three Little Bears came in.

They cried out,

“A surprise party we think very good,
We are the Three Bears that live in the woods.”

[Pg 68]

They had no sooner seated themselves on three little stools by the fire when “rap-a-tap,” sounded on the door again.

Old Mother Kit-Cat straightened her cap and called.

“Come in, come in, the hearth is wide,
There’s room for one and all inside.”

They all held their breath for no one came in this time.

The Three Little Kittens whispered to each other “What if it should be the Three Little Foxes coming in next? What if it should be the Three Little Foxes who stole our mittens?”

The Three Little Curly-Tails came in next, with a hop and a skip and a bound.

[Pg 69]

The next minute there was heard a great rumbling and tumbling and Grandpa Growler, who stood with his eyes to the key-hole said, “Some one is coming in a wheel-barrow.”

Then the whole company shouted,

“Oh Grandpa Growler, the secret is out,
’Tis Mother Catastrophe, without a doubt.”

Sure enough, Old Uncle Mouser was wheeling Old Mother Catastrophe nearer and nearer every minute.

He kept saying over and over, “I hope no one has taken my red plush-lined basket, I hope no one has taken my red plush-lined basket.”

[Pg 70]

They came in, and Old Mother Catastrophe shook the dust off her fur and whiskers and she said every one looked to her as big as life and twice as natural.

Then the Ground-Hog came in muttering about his shadow, but the Beaver sent a note of regret for he was too shy for company.

I do not suppose they would have had a bit to eat for refreshment if The Little Old Man of the Fire had not been there.

He sang to the Three Little Kittens so softly that no one else heard,

“Coffee, some sugar, and tea will do,
Make up some cookies and rich pies too.”

[Pg 71]

The Three Little Kittens went hurrying and scurrying into the kitchen.

They ran this way, and that way, cooking tea and coffee and mixing up cookies and pies.

The Three Little Foxes wearing three pairs of mittens danced up to the window and said,

“You cannot cook, for so we’ve heard,
Three Little Kittens, ’tis quite absurd.”

The Three Little Kittens were so surprised that they dropped their three little spoons into their three little bowls, but the Little Old Man of the Fire said, quite as though nothing had happened.

[Pg 72]

Now the Three Little Foxes danced this way, and that way, and came up again to the kitchen window.

The Three Little Foxes shouted,

“More sugar, more spice,
Make everything nice.”

They troubled the Three Little Kittens so they could not think straight to save their lives.

The Little Old Man of the Fire suddenly darted through the open door shouting,

“I’ll burn your bushy-tails ’tis true,
Come on, I’ll run a race with you.”

[Pg 73]

The Three Little Foxes could feel the Old Man’s hot breath and they scampered off as swiftly as the wind.

The Little Old Man of the Fire shouted,

“I can travel even faster,
And I’ll bring you a disaster,
Take off the mittens, take off the mittens,
For they belong to Three Little Kittens.”

At this, the Three Little Foxes lost no time you may guess.

They threw the mittens down by the bank of a river near by.

The Little Old Man of the Fire shouted, “Sink or swim, sink or swim,” and he[Pg 74] pushed the Three Little Foxes into the river and they had to swim all the way home.

The Little Old Man of the Fire picked up the mittens and washed them nicely, then he took them back home and hung them on the line to dry.

All this time the Three Little Kittens were baking and stewing, and by and by they had a regular Surprise Party meal ready, and all the animals cried, “Hurrah, hurrah, for the Three Little Kittens.”

After they had eaten everything they could lay their paws on, Old Uncle Mouser told stories, and Old Mother Catastrophe said, as the clock struck ten,

“Mother Catastrophe, old and gray,
[Pg 75]
Should start out now on the homeward way.”

This ended the party, and Old Uncle Mouser got the wheel-barrow, though he looked longingly, at the red plush-lined basket that waited him by the fire.

There was the greatest shaking of paws you ever saw and Grandpa Growler said,

“I’m old and stiff, you may believe,
I’ll stay all night now, by your leave.”

As the guests went home Old Mother Kit-Cat said,

“I really believe my dear little kittens,
On the clothes line I see three pairs of mittens.”

The Three Little Kittens went with a

[Pg 76]

hop and a skip and a bound to get their mittens and Three Little Foxes came tagging them, as if they were playing hide-and-seek.

The Three Little Kittens cried,

“We are Three Little Kittens who lost our mittens,
And here they are on a line so dry,
We are Three Little Kittens who lost our mittens
And now we will call, Good bye, good bye.”

“Not so fast,” said Grandpa Growler, “What will Kit-Cat do with the new mittens she has knit for you?”

Old Mother Kit-Cat said,

[Pg 77]

“They were made for Kittens, one, two, three
I will put them up on the Christmas tree.”

The Three Little Foxes ran away again for they saw the Little Old Man of the Fire, coming after them, and the Three Little Kittens joined paws and danced round and round in a ring, while The Little Old Man of the Fire said,

“Good bye, good bye,” we say and then,
Just open the book and read again.

The Three Little Kittens cried,

[Pg 78]

The Three Little Kittens ran merrily home in the moonlight, wearing their mittens.


Back Cover

Transcriber’s Notes