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Full text of "The tale of two bad mice"

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BrTgfiam Young University 
RARE BOOK COLLECTION 



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808.837 

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THE TALE 

OF 

TWO BAD MICE 



FOR 

THE LITTLE GIRL 
WHO HAD THE DOLL'S HOUSE 



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THE TALE OF 

TWO BAD MICE 



BY 



BEATRIX POTTER 

Author of 
'' The Tale of Peter Rabbit; ^'c. 




LONDON 

FREDERICK WARNE AND CO. 

AND NEW YORK 
1904 

\All rights reserved^ 



Copyright 1904 

BY 

Fredp:rick Warne Sc Co. 

Entered at Stationers' Hall. 




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/^NCE upon a time there 
was a very beautiful 
doll's-house ; it was red brick 
with white windows, and it 
had real muslin curtains and 
a front door and a chimney. 



TT belonged to two Dolls 
called Lucinda and Jane ; 
at least it belonged to Lucinda, 
but she never ordered meals. 

Jane was the Cook ; but she 
never did any cooking, because 
the dinner had been bought 
ready-made, in a box full of 
shavings. 



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T^HERE were two red lob- 
sters and a ham, a fish, 
a pudding, and some pears 
and oranges. 

They w^ould not come off the 
plates, but they were extremely 
beautiful. 



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/^NE morning Lucinda and 
Jane had gone out for 
a drive in the doll's peram- 
bulator. There was no one in 
the nursery, and it was very 
quiet. Presently there was 
a little scuffling, scratching 
noise in a corner near the fire- 
place, where there was a hole 
under the skirting-board. 

Tom Thumb put out his head 
for a moment, and then popped 
it in again. 

Tom Thumb was a mouse. 



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A MINUTE afterwards, 
Hunca Munca, his wife, 
put her head out, too; and 
w^hen she saw that there was 
no one in the nursery, she 
ventured out on the oilcloth 
under the coal-box. 



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nPHE dolls-house stood at 
the other side of the 
fire-place. Tom Thumb and 
Hunca Munca went cautiously 
across the hearthrug. They 
pushed the front door — it was 
not fast. 



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T^ O M THUMB and 
Hunca Munca went 
upstairs and peeped into the 
dining-room. Then they 
squeaked with joy ! 

Such a lovely dinner was 
laid out upon the table ! There 
were tin spoons, and lead 
knives and forks, and two 
dollv-chairs — all so convenient! 



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T^OAI THUMB set to work 
at once to carve the ham. 
It was a beautiful shiny yellow, 
streaked with red. 

The knife crumpled up and 
hurt him ; he put his finger in 
his mouth. 

'' It is not boiled enough ; 
it is hard. You have a try, 
Hunca Alunca." 



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TTUNCA MUNCA stood 
up in her chair, and 
chopped at the ham with 
another lead knife. 

'' It's as hard as the hams 
at the cheesemongers/' said 
Hunca Munca. 



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nn H E ham broke off the 
plate with a jerk, and 
rolled under the table. 

''Let it alone/' said Tom 
Thumb ; '' give me some fish, 
Hunca Munca ! " 



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TTUNCA MUNCA tried 
every tin spoon in turn ; 
the fish was glued to the dish. 
Then Tom Thumb lost his 
temper. He put the ham in 
the middle of the floor, and 
hit it with the tongs and with 
the shovel — bang, bang, smash, 
smash ! 

The ham flew all into pieces, 
for underneath the shiny paint 
it was made of nothing but 
plaster ! 



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nPHEN there was no end to 
the rage and disappoint- 
ment of Tom Thumb and 
Hunca Munca. They broke 
up the pudding, the lobsters, 
the pears and the oranges. 

As the fish would not come 
off the plate, they put it into 
the red-hot crinkly paper fire 
in the kitchen ; but it would 
not burn either. 



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^OM THUMB went up the 
kitchen chimney and 
looked out at the top — there 
was no soot. 



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V^^HILE Tom Thumb 
was up the chimney, 
Hunca Munca had another 
disappointment. She found 
some tiny canisters upon the 
dresser, labelled — Rice — Coffee 
— Sago — but when she turned 
them upside down, there was 
nothing inside except red and 
blue beads. 



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so 



T^HEN those mice set to 
work to do all the mis- 
chief they could — especially 
Tom Thumb ! He took Jane's 
clothes out of the chest of 
drawers in her bedroom, and 
he threw them out of the top 
floor window. 

But Hunca Munca had a 
frugal mind. After pulling 
half the feathers out of Lu- 
cinda's bolster, she remem- 
bered that she herself was in 
want of a feather bed. 



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Wl ITH Tom Thumb's assist- 
ance she carried the 
bolster downstairs, and across 
the hearth-rug. It was diffi- 
cult to squeeze the bolster into 
the mouse-hole ; but they 
managed it somehow. 



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T^HEN Hunca Munca went 
back and fetched a chair, 
a book-case, a bird-cage, and 
several small odds and ends. 
The book-case and the bird- 
cage refused to go into the 
mouse-hole. 



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LJUNCA MUNCA left 
them behind the coal- 
box, and went to fetch a cradle. 



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TTUNCA MUNCA was 

just returning with 
another chair, when suddenly 
there was a noise of talking 
outside upon the landing. The 
mice rushed back to their hole, 
and the dolls came into the 
nursery. 



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A ^7 HAT a sight met the eyes 
of Jane and Lucinda ! 
Lucinda sat upon the upset 
kitchen stove and stared ; and 
Jane leant against the kitchen 
dresser and smiled — but nei- 
ther of them made any remark. 



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HTHE book-ease and the 
bird-cage were rescued 
from under the coal-box — but 
Hunca Munca has got the 
cradle, and some of Lucinda s 
clothes. 



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CHE also has some useful 
pots and pans, and several 
other things. 



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^HE little girl that the 
doll's-house belonged to, 
said, — ''I will get a doll dressed 
like a policeman ! " 



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T)UT the nurse said, — ''I 
will set a mouse-trap ! " 



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CO that is the story of the 
two Bad Mice, — but they 
were not so very very naughty 
after all, because Tom Thumb 
paid for everything he broke. 

He found a crooked sixpence 
under the hearthrug; and 
upon Christmas Eve, he and 
Hunca Munca stuffed it into 
one of the stockings of Lucinda 
and Jane. 



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AND very early every morn- 
ing — before anybody is 
awake — Hunca Munca comes 
with her dust-pan and her 
broom to sweep the Dollies' 
house ! 



THE END. 



PRINTED BY 

EDMUND EVANS, 

THE RACQUET COURT PRESS, 

LONDON, S.E. 



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