Once there were some people who had a little mouse in their home.

One day the said, "We'll get a cat. The cat will catch the mouse."

So they got a cat. The cat's name was Timothy.

Now the truth was that Timothy was afraid of mice. But the people didn't know that. They said, "Now, Timothy, will you please catch the mouse?"

You see, cats must catch mice. So Timothy said, "I'll catch the mouse. But I want to play a little. May I play a little?"

So Timothy played he was a tiger. He jumped at the people and frightened them.

Then they said, "Now, Timothy, will you please catch the mouse?"

"Yes, of course I'll catch the mouse," said Timothy. "But I am very hungry. Will you please give me some milk?"

So they gave him some milk.

Then they said, "Now, Timothy, catch the mouse!"

"Oh, well, all right!" said Timothy. "Where is this mouse?"

"You must find the mouse by sniffing", said the people.

"Sniff", said Timothy. "Oh, there is some fish on the table!" So he jumped up and ate the fish. He was glad to see that there wasn't any mouse on the table.

"You must sniff, Timothy," the people said.

"Sniff, sniff, sniff!" said Timothy. "Oh, I smell some nice clean clothes in the clothes-basket!" So he jumped into the basket. There Timothy saw the little mouse.

"Oh, dear," said Timothy, "I must catch you, Mr.Mouse."

"Why?" said the little mouse.

Timothy didn't know why he must catch the little mouse. "Aren't you a very bad mouse?" he asked.

"I frighten people," said the little mouse.

"I like to frighten people too," said Timothy. "Is that all you do?"

"I eat things," said the little mouse.

"I love to eat things too!" said Timothy.

"And I make a little noise," said the little mouse.

"I make a little noise too," said Timothy.

"That's all," said the little mouse sadly.

"Well," said Timothy, "if I let you go, you won't frighten people, will you?"

"Oh, no!" said the little mouse.

"And you won't eat things, will you?" asked Timothy.

"Oh, no!" said the little mouse.

"And you won't make any noise, will you?" asked Timothy.

"Oh, no!" said the little mouse.

"I won't catch you!" said Timothy kindly.

"Oh, thank you!" said the little mouse and ran away in a moment.

Then Timothy got out of the clothes-basket and came into the dining-room.

The people looked at him and said, "Timothy is a good cat, but he cannot catch the mouse!"

And Timothy said nothing.

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