How Tiny Hare Met Cat

★ How Tiny Hare Met Cat Story :

Once, just as the long, dark time that is at the end of each day came, Mama Hare said to Tiny Hare, who was at play,

“Come in, now, it is time for bed. You know you must hide from Man, and Dog, and Hawk; but I must tell you that you are to hide from Cat, also.”

“Who is CAT?” said Tiny Hare.

“CAT is not so big as DOG. She has soft fur and two big wild eyes.”

“She is just like me,” said Tiny Hare. “I have soft fur and big eyes; then CAT is just a Hare.”

“The very idea!” said Mama Hare. “You have not big wild eyes, and your tail is not long like CAT’S. CAT is not good for a Hare to meet. She can run very fast, and she has a claw for each toe,” and she gave Tiny Hare a wee bite.

“Does CAT live in our wood?” said Tiny Hare.

“No, she is with MAN and DOG, but she goes out in the day time or at dark, and she can get a Tiny Hare who runs away from home when he is too tiny.”

“Am I too tiny?” said Tiny Hare. “Yes, yes, yes; far too tiny,” said his Mama; and how she did wash him from his head to his feet!

“I wish to see CAT,” said Tiny Hare.

“No, no, no,” said his Mama; and how she did wash his soft fur!

He did not wish to see CAT for many, many days, but one day the rain came, and it was cold, and his Mama told him to stay at home in the dry hay.

“I want to go with you,” said Tiny Hare to his Mama and Papa when they were to go out for food.

“It is too wet,” said his Mama. “If your fur gets too wet you can’t run far and fast, and it is not safe for you to go.”

“I like rain. I like the wet. I want to go out. I want to do just as I like,” said Tiny Hare, and he laid his ears back, and half shut his eyes, and put his pink lip out, and did not look kind.

“Hush!” said Papa Hare, in a low, deep tone. And Mama Hare and Papa Hare went away, and left Tiny Hare at home.

Do you know what Tiny Hare did then? Oh, it was not good!

“I will go to see CAT,” he said, very loud. He ran out, over the damp moss in the wet, wet wood, and, oh, dear me! up the path to the door of MAN and CAT. The door was open. CAT sat by the fire in a box. She was most sad, for once she had two baby cats in that box, and now they were gone. She did not purr. She did not eat. She did not wash her soft fur. She just sat by the fire and was sad. By and by she was so sad with no baby cat to love that she said very low and deep: “Mew! Mew!” Tiny Hare was so wet and so weak he just had to lie down on the step. Then CAT saw him.

How fast she did jump out of the box, and run to the door! Tiny Hare saw her long tail, and her big wild eyes. He shut his eyes; and how he did wish he was at home! But CAT did not eat him. She took him in her soft lips, and laid him in the box by the fire.

“Now she will eat me,” said Tiny Hare; and how he did wish he was at home!

Then MAN and DOG came in. MAN was wet, and had much mud on him. He took the box away from the fire to put fresh hay in it, and then he saw Tiny Hare. Then MAN went near the fire to get warm and dry, and DOG ran to CAT to look at her baby cat. When he saw Tiny Hare he gave a loud bark, “Bow-wow-wow-wow!” and his tail did not wag any more. But just as he was to JUMP on Tiny Hare, CAT put a claw on his nose.

“Wow!” said DOG, and MAN made DOG lie down, and he came once more to look at CAT in her box. “Well, well,” said he, “a hare for a baby cat! Do you mean to eat it, Puss?”

“Purr, purr, purr,” said CAT, and Tiny Hare did not like to hear her purr, and he said: “She will eat me now”; and how he did wish he was at home!

CAT did not want to eat Tiny Hare, but she did want to wash him, and play that he was her own baby cat. And she did wash him, oh, so hard, and so much, from head to feet, and from feet to head, over and over and over. She gave him a wee bite now and then when she felt a knot in his wet fur.

“Wee! Wee! Wee!” said Tiny Hare, very loud and high, when she hurt him too much, but CAT did not care, and did not stop.

By and by when Tiny Hare was warm and dry, and his fur was like silk, MAN and DOG went out to tea; and CAT saw that the eyes of Tiny Hare were shut, so she went out to tea. When CAT was gone, oh, how fast did Tiny Hare jump out of the box, and run out of the door, and skip up the long road, and leap past the wet wood, home to his Mama. The rain was over, and the sun was warm, so he was now dry, and his fur was like silk.

“I will be good now, Mama.” “Oh, dear,” said his Mama. “This is a CAT.”

“Oh, no, no, no, no, NO!” said Tiny Hare. “I am your Tiny Hare.”

“Is it our Tiny Hare?” said Mama Hare to wise Papa Hare.

“Yes,” said Papa Hare, “it is, but he is too much like CAT.”

Tiny Hare was not glad, and he did not want to play, so he sat near his home till the dark came. Then his Mama grew too sad for his sake, and she came out to him. How she did rub him with moss and hay, and how she did wash him, from his head to his feet. Tiny Hare did not like it, but he did not say one word.

“Now, you are like my dear Tiny Hare,” she said at last, and she took him home. When it grew dark, Tiny Hare said: “I am your Tiny Hare, and I will be good now,” and Papa Hare said, “Yes, I am sure you will,” and gave the ear of Tiny Hare a wee bite for love.

Then Mama Hare put her ears down, and Papa Hare put his ears down, and Tiny Hare put his ears down, and they all took a long, long nap till the dawn.

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