Mr. Thomas Cat's Chestnuts



Roasted Chestnuts
MR. THOMAS CAT'S CHESTNUTS

THE first thing Mr. Thomas Cat did, after he reached home, was to roast his chestnuts for dinner. He scraped out a nice place in the ashes, and, just as he had his chestnuts nicely covered over, there came a rap, tap, tap, at his door; and when Mr. Thomas Cat opened it, in walked Mr. Monkey, with a big new cravat on.
"Good morning, Mr. Thomas Cat; it seems to me I smell something good cooking," said Mr. Monkey, sniffing in the air with his queer nose. "My, it smells so good, Mr. Thomas Cat! Is it oranges?"
"No," said Mr. Thomas Cat, "it is n't oranges."
"Then it must be apples," said Mr. Monkey.
"No, it is n't apples," said Mr. Thomas Cat. .
"Then it must be nuts," said Mr. Monkey. "Oh, Mr. Thomas Cat, it smells just like chestnuts, — are n't you roasting chestnuts for dinner? Who showed you how to roast chestnuts, Mr. Thomas Cat? You do it better than anybody in the whole world! I wish I knew how to roast such nice chestnuts, — I wonder how they taste, Mr. Thomas Cat?"
"I don't know," said Mr. Thomas Cat, smiling. But he felt so proud because Mr. Monkey said he roasted the best chestnuts in the whole world that he didn't know what to do. Mr. Monkey watched a while longer, and then he said: "Why, Mr. Thomas Cat, you have such beautiful, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l claws! They must know how to do all kinds of things. How do you
"Then it must be apples," said Mr. Monkey.
"No, it is n't apples," said Mr. Thomas Cat. .
"Then it must be nuts," said Mr. Monkey. "Oh, Mr. Thomas Cat, it smells just like chestnuts, — are n't you roasting chestnuts for dinner? Who showed you how to roast chestnuts, Mr. Thomas Cat? You do it better than anybody in the whole world! I wish I knew how to roast such nice chestnuts, — I wonder how they taste, Mr. Thomas Cat?"
"I don't know," said Mr. Thomas Cat, smiling. But he felt so proud because Mr. Monkey said he roasted the best chestnuts in the whole world that he didn't know what to do. Mr. Monkey watched a while longer, and then he said: "Why, Mr. Thomas Cat, you have such beautiful, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l claws! They must know how to do all kinds of things. How do you
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get your chestnuts out of the ashes when they are done? Do you use a spoon?"
"Why, no," said Mr. Thomas Cat, feeling prouder than ever because Mr. Monkey said he had such beautiful claws. "How do I get them out? Why, I just scratch them out with my claws."
"With your beautiful claws?" said Mr. Monkey. "Why, how smart you are! — I should be sure to burn myself! Show me how!"
Mr. Thomas Cat felt prouder than ever, so he scratched in the ashes, and pulled out a fine chestnut and put it on the hearth to cool.
"My," said Mr. Monkey, "how smart you are!"
Then he gobbled up the chestnut very quickly; but Mr. Thomas Cat did not know it, because he was too proud to see.
"Let me see if you can scratch out another one with your beautiful claws," said Mr. Monkey. And then he gobbled up that one, too, very quickly. "How smart you are to get them out and not burn yourself! Can you scratch out another one, Mr.
Thomas Cat?" And then Mr. Monkey gobbled up that one, too.
And he kept on praising Mr. Thomas Cat, and telling him how smart he was, until Mr. Thomas Cat became so proud he couldn't see, and just as fast as he would scratch out those chestnuts Mr. Monkey would eat them up, — one by one, until he ate them every one.
And by and by, when Mr. Thomas Cat turned around to count his chestnuts, why, they were all gone!
Now, what do you think of that?
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Merry animal tales: a book of old fables in new dresses By Madge Alford Bigham