One pleasant summer morning Alphonzo was amusing himself by swinging on a gate in front of his mother’s house. His cousin Malleville, who was then about eight years old, was sitting upon a stone outside of the gate, by the roadside, in a sort of corner that was formed between the wall and a great tree which was growing there. Malleville was employed in telling her kitten a story.
The kitten was sitting near Malleville, upon a higher stone. Malleville was leaning upon this stone, looking the kitten in the face. The kitten was looking down, but she seemed to be listening very attentively.
“Now, Kitty,” said Malleville, “if you will sit still and hark, I will tell you a story,—a story about a mouse. I read it in a book. Once there was a mouse, and he was white, and he lived in a cage. No I forgot,—there were three mice. I’ll begin again.
“Once there was a boy, and he had three white mice, and he kept them in a cage.”
Here Malleville’s story was interrupted by Phonny, who suddenly called out:
“Here comes Beechnut, Malleville.”
“I don’t care,” said Malleville, “I’m telling a story to Kitty, and you must not interrupt me.”
Here the kitten jumped down from the stone and ran away.
“Now Phonny!” said Malleville, “see what you have done;—you have made my Kitty go away.”
“I didn’t make her go away,” said Phonny.
“Yes you did,” said Malleville, “you interrupted my story, and that made her go away.”
Phonny laughed aloud at this assertion, though Malleville continued to look very serious. Phonny then repeated that he did not make the kitten go away, and besides, he said, he thought that it was very childish to pretend to tell a story to a kitten.