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"Don’t hurt him!" said the Baker. cats

dogs life

The master-baker turned his eyes towards Moumouth, saw him devouring the mouse, and said to the boy:— "Don’t hurt him; he is doing us a service." "But where did he come from?" "What does that matter, provided he is useful here?" answered the baker, who was a man of intelligence. "Eat, eat, my friend," he continued, stooping down to gently caress Moumouth; "eat as many mice as possible, there will always be enough left." Our cat profited by the permission accorded to him, and, having satisfied his hunger, had a desire to set out in search of the mansion of Madame de la Grenouillère; but the baker barred the passage. Moumouth jumps out of the Window.

"Wait a minute!" he said. "I wanted a good cat; Heaven sent me one, and I shall not forgive myself if I let him escape. Hulloo! Jacques, shut up all the openings, and if this rogue makes a show of running off, give him three or four smart blows with the broom." Thus the host of Moumouth became his tyrant; so true is it that personal interest depraves the best natures. Our cat, as if comprehending what was passing, leaped without hesitation upon the shoulders of the baker’s boy, and thence into the street

There a new danger awaited him. Surprised by this unexpected apparition, an enormous bull-dog planted himself directly in front of Moumouth. Moumouth had a lively desire to avoid an unequal contest, but the dog kept an eye on him, and did not lose one of his movements, going to the right when Moumouth went to the left, and to the left when Moumouth moved to the right, and growled all the while in a malicious fashion. For an instant they stood motionless, observing each other,—the dog with paws extended, teeth displayed, and body drawn back, and the cat with open mouth, his back arched and his head thrust forward. He meets a Bull-dog. Neither seemed disposed to begin hostilities. Finally the dog rushed upon his adversary, who avoided him adroitly, passed underneath him, and fled in the direction of the quay, the bull-dog giving chase. Away they went, darting among the crowd of pedestrians and in and out between the carriages. In a natural spirit of imitation, the wandering dogs that encountered them running joined in the race, and at the end of a minute Moumouth had more than thirty-seven dogs in pursuit of him. "I am lost," he says to himself, "but at least I shall sell my life dearly."

He backs against a wall, and braces himself haughtily on his feet; his teeth gnashing, his hair bristling, he faces his numerous enemies with so terrible an eye that they recoil like a single man. Profiting by their hesitation, he turns suddenly and scrambles to the top of the wall. He is soon beyond the reach of the dogs, but he is not yet in safety; if he makes a false step, if his strength gives out, if the plaster crumbles under his claws, twenty yawning mouths, hungry for slaughter, are there to tear him to pieces! In the meanwhile, Mother Michel had passed the night in lamentation. She could not control her grief, for the loss of Moumouth; she called him continually in a plaintive voice, and—if we may credit the popular song—the neighbors heard her cry at the window: "Who will bring him back to me?" Mother Michel laments. The next morning, at the rising of the smiling sun, the perfidious Lustucru presented himself before Mother Michel in order to say to her:— "Well, my dear companion, have you found him?"

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