Puss Sings A Song And Helps A Beggar
After he had said good-by to Yankee Doodle Dandy, Puss, Jr., had a good time playing all the morning with some little boys whom he met. One of the little boys got out his hobby-horse and he and Puss, Jr., took turns galloping up and down the sidewalk.
"I had a little hobby-horse,
And it was dapple gray;
Its head was made of pea straw,
Its tail was made of hay,"
sang his mother from the front porch. "My little boy has had a fine time," she said, "but he must come in now and rest, for it is almost luncheon-time."
"And I must be going," said Puss, Jr., "for I have many miles yet to travel ere I find my father, Puss in Boots."
"You have been so kind," said the little boy's mother as she shook hands with Puss.
"Good-by!" cried the little boy, quite sorrowfully, waving his hat as Puss disappeared down the street.
"Heigh-ho!" said Puss to himself, "once more on my journey. I'm a wandering minstrel, as it were," and to suit his words he began to sing:
"A wandering little cat am I,
Seeking father cat,
In my paw my trusty staff,
On my head my hat
With the magic plume the owl
Gave to me one day.
When the journey ends I'll have
Lots of time to play!"
"A pussy-cat poet!" cried a voice close at hand.
Puss, Jr., started and turned. At his side stood a beggar-man.
"I'm hungry," said the poor fellow, "and poets, I hear, are always generous," and he held out his hat for Puss to drop in a penny.
"Are they?" inquired Puss, with a grin; he put his hand into his pocket and took out a sixpence. "Here, my good man," he said, "take this little piece of money. It is more than I will get for the song which you seem to admire so much.
"What are you going to buy with the money?" he asked, after they had walked along for some time. They had left the city and were now in the country.
"WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BUY WITH THE MONEY?" PUSS ASKED
"I'm going to get some pease porridge hot," answered the beggar. "I'm going to spend that sixpence in short order! I haven't had a thing to eat since yesterday morning."
"I have never gone hungry so long as that," said Puss. "I think I've been pretty lucky since I started out to find my father, Puss in Boots."
"Puss in Boots!" exclaimed the beggar-man with surprise. "Why, I once stopped at a castle where there was a most wonderful cat. He was the seneschal, I think, and a most intelligent animal."
"Where was the castle?" asked Puss. "I mean, in what country?"
"I don't remember," replied the beggar-man. "You see, I have begged at so many back doors and so many postern gates that I have them all jumbled up together in my memory."
"Dear me," said Puss. "Will I ever find anybody who really knows where my father lives?"
"Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot,
Nine days old."
Along the road came a man with a big white apron over his coat. In front of him he wheeled a little cart in which was a large pot of porridge.
"Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old."
"Well, it won't be in that pot even nine minutes!" cried the beggar-man. "Here, my good friend," he cried, "give me sixpence worth of your porridge, and be quick about it."
"Don't be in a hurry," said the porridge-man. "Where's the sixpence?"
"Here in my good right hand," replied the beggar-man.
"Ah!" said the porridge-man, "you shall have your porridge."
"I will also have some," said Puss.
"Hot or cold?" asked the man.
"You take yours hot and I'll take mine cold," said the beggar-man, and in a few minutes the porridge was all gone.