Mrs. Gamp and Mrs. Puss-Cat lived all by themselves in a wee wee house. Mrs. Gamp was a dear old soul with snowy white hair, and rosy red cheeks, and such a smiling face and kind soft heart.
Mrs. Puss-Cat had a lovely tabby coat, as smooth as velvet, and a beautiful fluffy tail. Her eyes were bright and twinkly, and she would sit in front of the fire for hours and hours thinking of nothing but mischief.
One day Mrs. Gamp was invited out to tea. She put on her very best gown, and her new mob-cap trimmed with ribbons and flowers.When she looked at herself in the glass she felt pleased! As soon as Mrs. Gamp had gone, Mrs. Puss-Cat gave three loud purrs of joy, and all the mischief she had been thinking came out at once. She trotted into the garden and got her feet all covered with mud. Then she scampered upstairs, and danced a cat dance all over the clean white counterpane on Mrs. Gamp's bed. She climbed on the washstand, and upset the water jug, then she squeezed into the wardrobe, and pulled Mrs. Gamp's dresses out on to the floor. And some of them she tore to teeny tiny shreds!
When she had finished she darted out of the room. But alack-a-day! At the top of the stairs she slipped, and fell—bumpetty, bumpetty, bump, all the way to the bottom.
Presently Mrs. Gamp came home. And the first thing she heard was a strange noise in the kitchen. First a miaou. Then a sob. Then more miaous. Then—sob, sob, sob! She opened the door, and there, perched upon a stool in front of the dresser sat Mrs. Puss-Cat.
Her head was swollen very, very big. Round her neck was tied some of the ribbon off Mrs. Gamp's best bonnet, and another piece was twisted round one fat paw. And from her big round eyes great tear-drops were falling—splash, splash upon the floor.
Mrs. Gamp threw up her arms. “Oh! dearie me!” she cried. “What ever is the matter? Oh! dearie, dearie me!”
“Miaou, miaou!” sobbed Mrs. Puss-Cat. “Oh! my poor paw! My poor, poor paw!”
Mrs. Gamp's tender heart was touched. She rushed upstairs to fetch some ointment. But when she opened her bedroom door—well! you know what she saw!
Her tender heart grew cold as stone, and oh! she was so angry!She raced downstairs, and gave Mrs. Puss-Cat the biggest whipping she had ever given her before.Then she took off her best ribbon, and opened the front door wide.
And Mrs. Puss-Cat went slinking out with her tail between her legs, and a terribly vicious look in her big round eyes.
But Mrs. Gamp's heart soon grew tender again.
She opened the front door, and called Mrs. Puss-Cat back. And Mrs. Puss-Cat came at once, looking very penitent and sad.
Mrs. Gamp gave her some nice hot milk, and put her in a comfy basket in front of the fire.
Then she sat by her side, and stroked her smooth velvety head.
And slowly all the naughty mischief slipped out of Mrs. Puss-Cat's head, and nice, kind thoughts came in.
And now she is really and truly the nicest Mrs. Puss-Cat in the world.