THE STRANGE BABY
Mr. Little and his family lived in New York City. Mr. Little worked in an office. His wife, Mrs. Little, took care of the house. She was a kind woman and liked animals. She kept a white cat called Snowball. She also liked to play the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK piano. Mr. and Mrs. Little had a son called George, who went to school and liked to play ping-pong. In every way it was quite a usual family. But one day something very unusual happened to them, and that was when Mrs. Little's second son was born.
When STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK he was born, everybody saw that he was no bigger than a mouse. The baby looked very much like a mouse in every way. He was only two inches high, he had a sharp nose, a long tail and whiskers. Before he was many days old he began STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK to walk, just like a mouse. Mr. and Mrs. Little called him Stuart, and мейд him a bed out of a cigarette box.
Mrs. Little saw at once that baby clothes were not good for Stuart. So she мейд him a fine blue suit with a pocket in which he STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK could keep his handkerchief. She also gave him a grey hat and a small stick.
Very soon Stuart could not only walk, but also run, jump and climb lamps by the cord. And that even before he was a month old!
When Stuart was a month old he was STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK still so small and light that his mother sent for the doctor. The doctor liked Stuart very much and said that it was very unusual for an American family to have a mouse. He took Stuart's temperature and found that it was normal for a mouse. He listened to his STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK heart and looked into his ears. Everything was all right, and Mrs. Little was very glad to hear it.
"Feed him up!" said the doctor and went away.
IN THE DRAIN
The house where the family lived stood near a park in New York City. In the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK mornings the sun looked into the house through the east windows and all the family got up very early. Stuart was a great help to his parents and to his brother George. He was so small that he could do many useful things and was always ready to STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK help. One day Mrs. Little went to wash the bath-tub and lost a ring from her finger. It rolled into the bath-tub and fell down the drain.
"What shall I do?" she cried with tears in her eyes.
"You must take a hairpin, and try to fish the ring out STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK," said George.
So Mrs. Little found a piece of string and a hairpin, tied the hairpin to the string and for half an hour fished for the ring. But it was dark in the drain and she could not find it.
"What luck?" asked Mr. Little, who STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK at that moment came into the bathroom.
"No luck at all," his wife answered. "It is so dark there! I can't fish my ring out."
"Let us send Stuart down the drain," said Mr. Little. "Would you like to try, Stuart?"
"Yes, I would," Stuart answered, "but I STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK must put on my old pants first. I think it is wet in the drain."
So Stuart put on his old pants and prepared to fish for the ring. He took the string and gave one end of it to his father. Then he tied the other end STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK round his waist.
"When I pull the string three times, you must pull me up," he said.
So Mr. Little put Stuart down the drain. In a minute Stuart pulled the string three times, and his father carefully pulled him up. And everybody saw Stuart with a smile on his STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK lips and the ring around his neck.
Mrs. Little kissed Stuart and thanked him.
"Oh, my brave little son," she said proudly. "How was it down there?" asked Mr. Littler He always liked to know about places to which he could not go himself.
"It was all right," said Stuart.
But STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK everybody thought it was not very pleasant down there, because Stuart came back very dirty and had to wash himself quickly.
The Littles liked to play ping-pong, but when they played it, the little balls always rolled under chairs, sofas, and radiators. So STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the players had to stop playing and begin to look for the balls. Very soon Stuart learned to find them quicker than anybody else in the family. He found them under chairs and hot radiators and pushed them with all his might. It was hard work, and it was difficult STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK for Stuart to roll a ball along. But he liked it.
The Littles had a piano in their dining-room, and Mrs. Little liked to play it in the evenings. It was a good piano, but one of the keys stuck sometimes, and did not work properly. That was very unpleasant STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. Mrs. Little said: "It's all because of the bad weather." But we must say that this key did not work even on bright days.
George always got very angry when he played the piano and the key stuck. (To tell the truth, he did not play the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK piano very well even on the days when the key worked properly, but still he got angry.) One day George said: "Let us put Stuart inside the piano."
You know that inside every piano there is a lot of soft hammers, and when you play the piano STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK each hammer strikes a different cord, and you hear music. So George said: "You must stay inside, Stuart, and push up the key every time it sticks."
And he put Stuart inside the piano. It was hard work, because the noise inside the piano was terrible, and Stuart was STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK quite deaf after half an hour. Besides he was afraid that a hammer might hit him on the head. But he liked this work just the same, because he liked music.
Mr. and Mrs. Little often spoke about Stuart when he was not around. To have a mouse in the family STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK was a very unusual thing. Stuart was so small that sometimes his parents did not know what to do with him.
"He must not know that he is a mouse," they decided.
Mr. Little said that they must not mention the word mice in their conversation. He STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK мейд Mrs. Little tear out a page from a song-book with the song "Three Blind Mice."
"He must not know too much about mice," said Mr. Little. "He will be afraid that somebody will cut off his tail with a knife. Such things make children dream bad dreams when they go STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK to bed at night."
"Yes," said Mrs. Little, "and we must also think about the poem' 'Twas the night before Christmas...' Do you remember it?" And she showed her husband the book:
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK even a mouse.
"That's right," said Mr. Little, "but what shall we say when we come to that line in the poem? We shall have to say something. We can't simply say: "Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK was stirring.' There is no rhyme here!"
"What about loise?" said George.
They decided that louse was the best word. So Mrs. Little rubbed out the word mouse from the poem and wrote the word louse instead. And Stuart always thought that the poem went this way:
'Twas the night before Christmas STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a louse.
But there was one more thing that worried Mr. and Mrs. Little. There was a mouse-hole in the kitchen. Mr. Little did not know where this hole led to. He was afraid that one STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK day Stuart might get into it.
"After all, he looks like a mouse and all mice like to go into holes," he said to his wife.
Stuart was an early riser. He always was the first person up in the morning. He liked the quiet rooms with STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK books on the shelves, the morning light. In winter it was dark when he climbed out of bed. It was very cold as he stood in his night-shirt and did his exercises. Every morning he touched his toes ten times. His brother George always said it kept the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK stomach muscles firm.
After his exercises Stuart took a towel and started for the bathroom. He had to go through the long dark hall, past his mother's and father's and George's rooms.
Of course, the bathroom was dark too. But there was a long string STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK tied to the switch. If Stuart pulled it with all his might he was able to turn on the light.
There was also a tiny rope ladder tied to the wash-basin, and Stuart could climb it in order to wash his hands and face and brush his teeth STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. One day George promised to build Stuart a special small wash-basin, only one inch high, but George always promised to build something and then forgot about it.
So every morning Stuart climbed the rope ladder to the big wash-basin. He had a doll's tooth-brush STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, a doll's cake of soap, a doll's towel, and a doll's comb with which he could comb his whiskers. He carried these things in his pocket and when he reached the wash-basin he took them out and put them near him. Then he turned the water on STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. For such a small fellow it was a difficult problem. One day he discussed it with his father.
"I can't turn the faucet on properly," he said, "because when I am doing it, my feet are in the air."
"Yes, I know," his father answered. "That's the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK whole trouble. We must do something about it."
George, who liked to listen to other people's conversations, said that they must build a special board for Stuart. He took a wooden board, a hammer and some nails and started to make a terrible noise in the bathroom. But he STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK soon became interested in something else and disappeared leaving the tools all over the floor.
"Maybe I can hit the faucet with something and in this way turn it on," said Stuart.
Mr. Little gave him a very small wooden hammer, and Stuart started for the bathroom to STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK try. He swung his hammer three times around his head and hit the faucet. When a thin stream of water began to flow Stuart brushed his teeth and washed his face and hands. He liked it very much.
And now every morning his parents and brother George, who STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK were still asleep in their beds, could hear the loud plink, plink, plink of Stuart's hammer. It told them that it was time to get up.
One fine morning in May when Stuart was three years old, he got up early, as usual, washed and dressed himself, took STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK his hat and stick, and went downstairs. Nobody was there but Snowball, the white cat. Snowball was also an early riser. In the mornings he liked to lie on the window-sill and think about the days when he was a kitten.
"Good morning," said Stuart.
"Hello," answered Snowball STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK dryly. "You're up early, aren't you?"
Stuart looked at his watch. "Yes," he said, "it's only five minutes past six, but I want to do some exercises."
"Haven't you done all your exercises in the bathroom when you мейд such a terrible STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK noise? You woke up all the house in order to brush your teeth, I think that your teeth are so small that there is no need to brush them. Do you want to see some good teeth? Look at mine!"
Here Snowball opened his mouth and showed his white teeth, sharp as STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK needles.
"Yours are very nice," said Stuart. "But mine are all right, too. As for exercise, I try to do it every day. I bet my stomach muscles are firmer than yours."
"I bet they are not," said the cat.
Stuart wanted to show Snowball that he had STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK very good stomach muscles, but he did not know how to do that. So he looked around the room. There were window shades on the windows which could roll up, each shade with a cord and a ring. This gave Stuart an idea. He climbed to the window-sill, took STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK off his hat and put down his stick.
"You can't do this," he said to the cat. And he ran and jumped onto the ring like an acrobat. A strange thing happened. When Stuart pulled the ring, the window shade flew up to the top of STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the window rolling Stuart up inside.
"Oh, dear!" said Snowball. He was almost as surprised as Stuart himself. "That will be a lesson to him."
"Help! Let me out!" cried Stuart. He was frightened, and it was very difficult to breathe inside the shade. But his voice was STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK too weak and nobody heard him.
Snowball laughed. He did not like Stuart and did not want to let him out. He did not run upstairs and did not tell Mr. and Mrs. Little about the accident. He did a strange thing instead. He quickly looked around, then ran to the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK window-sill, took Stuart's hat and stick in his mouth, carried them to the kitchen and put them down near the mouse-hole.
When Mrs. Little came into the kitchen and found Stuart's things on the floor, she screamed loudly.
"It has happened!" she cried STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK.
"What has?" asked her husband.
"Stuart went down the mouse-hole!"
George thought that the first thing to do was to break the kitchen floor. He ran and got his hammer and his screwdriver. "I'll have this old floor up in a moment," said George.
He put STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the screwdriver under the first board and tried to raise it.
"No, we must not break the floor. Let us have a good search first," said Mr. Little. "You can put that hammer away where you got it."
"Oh, all right," said George. "I see that nobody in this house thinks about STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK Stuart but me."
Mrs. Little began to cry.
"My poor dear little son!" she said. "I know that we shall never find him!"
"If you yourself cannot go down a mouse-hole it does not mean that Stuart cannot," said Mr. Little. "Please don't cry."
"Maybe STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK we must put some food down into the hole," said George. "The police did it when a man got stuck in a cave. I read about it myself."
George ran to the dining-room and came back with a cup of applesauce.
"We can pour some applesauce into the hole STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, and it will run down to Stuart," he said.
"Stop that!" cried Mr. Little. "George, will you kindly let me handle this situation? Put the applesauce away immediately!" And he looked angrily at George.
"I only tried to help my own brother," said George and carried the applesauce back.
"Let STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK us all call Stuart," said Mrs. Little. "It is quite possible that he has lost his way."
"Very well," said Mr. Little. "I will count three, we shall call Stuart, then we shall all keep quiet for three seconds and wait for the answer." He took out his STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK watch.
Mr. and Mrs. Little and George went down on their hands and knees and put their mouths close to the mouse-hole. Then they all called: "Stu-ooooo-art!" And then they all kept quiet for three seconds.
Stuart heard them from the rolled-up shade and STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK called back, "Here I am!" But his voice was too weak, and nobody heard him.
"Again!" said Mr. Little. "One, two, three — Stu-ooooo-art!" But there was no answer.
Mrs. Little went up to her bedroom, lay down and began to cry. Mr. Little went to the telephone and rang STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK up the Bureau of Missing Persons. But when the man from the Bureau asked for a description of Stuart and Mr. Little told him that he was only two inches high, the man angrily hung up.
George went down the cellar in order to find another entrance to the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK mouse-hole. He moved and pushed trunks, boxes, baskets, flower-pots and broken chairs, but he did not find any hole. Instead he found an old rowing machine; he became interested in it, carried it upstairs and rowed the whole morning.
When lunch time came, all three sat STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK down to lunch. But it was a sad meal. They tried not to look at the small empty chair near Mrs. Little's glass of water. Stuart's parents could not eat, and even George ate nothing but some applesauce.
After lunch Mrs. Little began to cry again STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK.
"I'm sure that Stuart is dead," she said.
"Nonsense, nonsense!" answered Mr. Little. "If he is dead," said George, "we must pull down all the shades in the house." And he ran to one of the windows and began to pull down the shade.
"George!" shouted Mr. Little STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. "Stop it! This is idiotic!" But the shade rolled down, and Stuart dropped out of the shade on the window-sill.
"Mum, look who is here!" cried George. "You pulled down that shade in time," said Stuart. "That's all I can say." He was weak and hungry.
Mrs. Little STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK was so glad to see him that she began to cry again. Of course, everybody wanted to know what had happened. And Stuart told them the whole story while he had his lunch.
"So you see, it was simply an accident," he said. "As to my hat and stick which STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK you found near the mouse-hole, you can draw your own conclusions."
STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK
One morning when the wind was from the west, Stuart put on his sailor suit and his sailor hat and decided to go out for a walk. But before STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK he went out he took his spy-glass from the shelf. This spy-glass was a special glass, like a sailor's; through this glass Stuart could see the things that were far away. He always took his spy-glass with him when he went out for a walk STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK because he was afraid of dogs. Every time he saw a dog through his spy-glass, he ran to the nearest doorman, climbed his leg and hid in the pocket of his coat. Once, when there was no doorman in the street, Stuart had to crawl into a STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK yesterday's paper and sit there till danger was past. So that morning, full of the joy of life and the fear of dogs, Stuart went out for a walk in his sailor suit and his sailor hat.
At the corner of Fifth Avenue several people waited for the bus, and Stuart STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK joined them. Nobody noticed him, because he was very small.
"I am so small that nobody notices me," thought Stuart, "but I am big enough to go on a bus."
When the bus came into view, all the people waved their sticks and handbags, and Stuart waved his spy STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK-glass, and the driver stopped the bus. The step of the bus was too high for Stuart, so he took hold of a gentleman's shoe and got into the bus without any trouble.
Stuart could not buy tickets on buses because he was not big STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK enough to carry money in his pocket. Once, when somebody gave him a dime, he had to roll it along like a hoop. But as he grew older, he understood that it was not good to ride on a bus without a ticket, so he asked his father to help STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK him, and Mr. Little мейд him special tiny dimes out of tin foil. They were so tiny that it was difficult to see them without spectacles.
When the conductor came up to him, Stuart took one of his dimes out of his purse. It was no bigger than STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the eye of a grasshopper.
"What is this?" asked the conductor. "It's one of my dimes," said Stuart. "Is it?" said the conductor. "I'm afraid it will be difficult to explain it to the bus company. Why, you are no bigger than a dime yourself."
"Yes, I am!" said Stuart STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK angrily. "I'm twice as big as a dime. Besides, I did not come on this bus to be insulted.
"I beg your pardon," said the conductor, and gave him a ticket. "You must forgive me, I had no idea that in all the world there STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK was such a small sailor."
"Live and learn," said Stuart dryly and put his purse back in his pocket.
A FAIR BREEZE
When the bus stopped at Seventy-second Street, Stuart jumped out and hurried to the sail-boat pond in Central Park. The west wind blew over the pond, and there STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK were many toy boats and schooners. They sailed with the wind. Their wet decks gleamed in the sun.
The owners of these boats, boys and grown men, watched their ships and all the time ran around the pond. They tried to keep the boats from bumping STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. Some of the toy boats were not so small: their mainmast was taller than a man's head. They were very beautiful and ready for sea. To Stuart they seemed very big and he wished to get on board one of them and sail away to the far corners of STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the pond. (He was a brave little fellow and loved the breeze, the waves and the cries of the sea-gulls.)
He sat on the shore and looked at the ships through his spy-glass. He noticed one boat which seemed to him finer and prouder than all the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK others. Her name was Wasp. She was a big black schooner with the American flag on the mainmast and a cannon on the deck.
"She's the ship for me," thought Stuart.
When the Wasp sailed in, he ran up to the man who stood on the shore STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK near the schooner.
"Excuse me, sir," said Stuart. "Are you the owner of the schooner Wasp?"
"I am," answered the man. He was surprised to see a mouse in a sailor suit.
"I'm looking for a job on a good ship," said Stuart. "Perhaps you will take me STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. I'm strong and I'm quick."
"Are you sober?" asked the owner of the Wasp.
"I never drink," answered Stuart dryly.
The man looked sharply at him. He liked the trim appearance and bold manner of this little sailor.
"Well," he said at last and turned the Wasp toward the centre STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK of the pond, "I'll tell you what I'll do with you. Do you see that big racing boat there?"
"I do," said Stuart.
"That's the Lillian," said the man, "and I hate her with all my heart."
"Then so do I," cried Stuart.
"I STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK hate her because she always bumps into my boat,"said the man, "and because her owner is a lazy boy who does not understand sailing. He cannot tell a mast from a mist."
"Or a deck from a dock," cried Stuart.
"I'll tell you what we'll do," said STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the man. "The Lillian is faster than my boat, and it usually beats the Wasp. But if somebody is on deck and handles the boat, it will be quite a different story. Nobody knows how I suffer when I stand here on shore, helpless, and watch the Wasp. She STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK needs a steady хэнд on her wheel. So, my young friend, you will sail the Wasp across the pond and back, and if you can beat that Lillian, I'll give you a regular job."
"Aye, aye, sir," said Stuart. He jumped on board the schooner and took STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK his place at the wheel.
"Ready!" he cried.
"One moment," said the man. "How are you going to beat the other boat?"
"I am going to set more sail," said Stuart.
"Not in my boat, thank you," said the man quickly. "You may upset the Wasp."
"Well, then," said Stuart STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, "I shall fire off the cannon!" "But it must be a boat-race and not a sea battle." "Well, then," said Stuart cheerfully, "I'll sail straight to the opposite shore with all my might and we shall see who goes faster!"
"Bravo!" cried the man, "and STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK good luck to you!" The wind filled the sails of the schooner and she sailed off. Stuart turned the wheel.
"By the by," cried the man on shore, "you haven't told me your name."
"My name is Stuart Little," cried Stuart at the top of of his lungs STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK.
"Good luck, Stuart!" cried his friend. "Take care of yourself and of the ship."
"Aye, aye, sir," shouted Stuart. He was so proud and happy that he began to dance on the deck. He even did not notice a steamer which almost bumped into the schooner.
THE SAIL-BOAT RACE
When the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK people in Central Park learnt that a mouse in a sailor suit was on one of the toy boats, they ran to the pond. Soon there were so many people on the shores that somebody had to ring up the police. A policeman came and told the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK people to stop pushing. But nobody listened to him. People in New York City like to push each other.
The most excited person of all was the owner of the Lillian. He was a fat, sulky boy of twelve. His name was Roy. He wore a blue suit and a dirty STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK white tie.
"Come back here!" he cried to Stuart. "Come back here and get on my boat! I shall pay you five dollars a week. You can have every Thursday off and a radio in your room."
"I thank you for your kind offer," answered Stuart, "but STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK I am happy on board the Wasp — happier than I have ever been in all my life." And he turned the wheel and sailed toward the starting line. The Lillian was already there and waited for the start of the race.
"I'll be the referee," said a man in a STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK bright green suit. "Is the Wasp ready?"
"Ready, sir!" shouted Stuart, touching his hat.
"Is the Lillian ready?" asked the referee.
"Of course I'm ready," said Roy. In his хэнд he held a long stick with the help of which he could turn his boat STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK.
"To the north end of the pond and back again," shouted the referee. "On your mark, get set, go!"
"Go!" cried the people from the shore.
"Go!" cried the owner of the Wasp.
"Go"! shouted the policeman.
And the two boats went to the north end of the pond STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, and the sea-gulls cried above them, and the taxis tooted from Seventy-second Street, and the west wind sang and whistled in the sails.
"This is the life for me!" Stuart said to himself. "What a ship! What a day! What a race!"
But at that time an accident STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK happened on shore. The people still pushed each other in order to see the race better, and suddenly they pushed the policeman into the pond. He fell into the water and got wet up to the third button of his coat. How angry he was!
This policeman was a big, fat STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK man who always ate very much. When he fell into the water he мейд a great wave which upset all the small boats on the pond. The owners of these boats screamed with delight and fear. When Stuart saw the great wave he climbed the mainmast, but it was STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK too late. The wave covered the deck and swept Stuart over the side of the boat and into the water.
Everybody thought that it was the end of him. But Stuart did not want to die. He beat the water with his feet and his tail STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, and in a minute or two he climbed back on board the schooner. He was cold and wet but alive!
When he took his place at the wheel, he heard shouts from the shore: "Bravo, Stuart! Bravo!" He looked around and saw the Lillian quite close to the Wasp. The two STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK boats reached the north end of the pond almost at the same time. Here Stuart put the Wasp about and Roy turned the Lillian around with his stick and the two boats went toward the finish line.
"This race is not over yet," thought Stuart.
He looked into the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK cabin and saw that the barometer had fallen sharply. That can mean only one thing at sea — bad weather. Suddenly a big cloud covered the sun. It became dark. Stuart trembled with cold in his wet sailor suit. When he saw the Wasp's owner among the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK people on shore he waved his hat and cried: "Storm ahead, sir! Barometer falling!"
"Never mind the weather!" cried the man. "Look out, Stuart!"
Stuart looked ahead into the gathering storm, but saw nothing except big grey waves with white crests. The world around was cold and dark. Stuart looked behind him STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK and saw the Lillian quite close to the Wasp. "Look out, Stuart! Look where you are going!" Stuart looked again and suddenly, right ahead, he saw a big paper bag. It floated along the surface of the pond. The bag was empty and its open end was like STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the mouth of a cave. Stuart turned the wheel but it was too late. The nose of the Wasp drove straight into the bag and the ship stopped. Stuart heard a terrible crash and saw that the nose of the Lillian drove straight into the Wasp! The STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK whole schooner trembled.
In a second the two boats were in a terrible tangle. The crowd on shore shouted at the top of their lungs. Little boys screamed and danced. At that time the paper bag began to leak and fill with water.
The Wasp could not move because of the bag STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. The Lillian could not move because her nose stuck in the sails of the Wasp.
Stuart ran forward and fired off the cannon. Then he heard, among the other voices on shore, the voice of the owner of the Wasp.
"Stuart! Stuart! Cut the paper bag!" Stuart took out STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK his pocket-knife and began to cut the wet bag. Soon he cleared the deck.
"Now give her a full!" screamed the owner of the Wasp.
Stuart pulled the sail with all his might. Slowly the schooner started and began to gather speed. Now the Wasp was free! Loud STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK shouts came from the shore. Stuart ran to the wheel and waved his hat. Then he looked back and to his great joy he saw that the Lillian was far behind him.
The Wasp sailed straight to the finish line. At last she crossed it, came up to STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the shore, and Stuart jumped down. All the people praised him for his daring. The owner of the Wasp said that it was the happiest day of his life. He said that his name was Dr. Paul Carey, that he was a dentist and that toy boats were his hobby STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. He offered Stuart to take command of his ship at any time. Everybody shook hands with Stuart — everybody except the policeman. He was too wet and angry, and did not want to shake hands with a mouse.
When Stuart came home that night, his brother George asked STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK him:
"Where have you been all day?"
"Oh, I walked around town," said Stuart.
Stuart was so small that it was often difficult to find him in the house. When his father, his mother or his brother George could not find him, they had to call him. You STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK could often hear somebody's cry: "Stuart! Stu-oo-art!" Very often you entered the dining-room, and he was in an arm-chair, and you couldn't see him. Mr. Little was always afraid to lose him. He even мейд him a tiny red cap, such as STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK hunters wear, and this cap helped all the family to find Stuart.
One day when he was seven years old, his mother said: "Today I shall make a pudding for dinner!" And Stuart went to the kitchen after her. He was very hungry and when Mrs. Little opened the door of the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK electric refrigerator, he slipped inside it. He hoped to find a piece of cheese. He did not say a word to his mother, but he was greatly surprised when she closed the door and left him inside the refrigerator. "Hasn't Mother seen me?" he thought STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. "Why has she closed the door? That must be a joke!" But then he was frightened.
"Help!" he shouted. "It's dark here! It's cold here! Help! Let me out! I'm cold!"
But his voice was weak and his mother did not hear him. In the darkness he STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK fell into a saucer of applesauce. It was cold as ice. Stuart trembled, and his teeth chattered. Only half an hour later Mrs. Little opened the door again and found Stuart on a piece of butter hopping up and down and blowing on his hands.
"Stuart!" she cried STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. "My poor little boy!"
"How about a glass of brandy?" said Stuart. "I'm chilled to the bone."
But his mother мейд him some hot broth instead and put him to bed in his cigarette box and placed a small hot-water bottle against his feet. However, Stuart caught STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK a bad cold. He had to stay in bed for almost two weeks.
During his illness the other members of the family were very kind to Stuart. Mrs. Little played with him. George мейд him a soap bubble pipe and a bow and arrow. Mr. Little мейд him a pair of skates STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK out of two paper clips.
One cold afternoon Mrs. Little looked out of the window and saw a small bird on the window-sill. At first she thought it was dead, but then she decided to bring the bird into the warm room and put it STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK near the radiator. She did so, and what do you think? Soon the bird opened her eyes. It was a pretty little brown bird with a yellow breast. Mrs. Little found a place for her in the dining-room, and fed her, and gave her a cup of water. Soon STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the bird felt much better and began to hop around the house and look at everything with great interest. At last she hopped upstairs and into Stuart's room. Stuart was still in bed.
"Hello," he said. "Who are you? Where did you come from?"
"My name is Margalo," said the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK bird in a musical voice. "I come from fields once tall with wheat, from pastures deep in fern and thistle; I come from vales of meadow-sweet, and I love to whistle."
Stuart sat up in bed. "Say that again!" he said.
"I can't," said STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK Margalo. "I have a sore throat."
"So have I," said Stuart. "Don't come near me, you may catch it."
"I'll stay here near the door," said Margalo.
"You can take my medicine if you want," said Stuart. "And my nose drops too."
"Thank you very much, you are very kind STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK," said the bird.
"Did they take your temperature? " asked Stuart.
"No," said Margalo, "but I don't think it is necessary."
"Well, we must be sure," said Stuart, and he gave her the thermometer. Margalo put it under her tongue, and she and Stuart sat very still STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK for three minutes. Then she took it out and looked at it.
"Normal," she said. Stuart was very glad to hear it. He liked this bird very much, she was so beautiful.
"I hope," he said, "that my parents have prepared you a nice bed?"
"Oh, yes," Margalo said STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. "I am going to sleep in the fern on the bookshelf in the dining-room. You have a nice house. And now, if you'll excuse me, I shall go to bed. It is getting dark outside. I always go to bed at sundown. Good night, sir!"
"Please don STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK't call me 'sir'," cried Stuart. "Call me Stuart."
"Very well," said the bird. "Good night, Stuart!" And she hopped off.
"Good night, Margalo," cried Stuart. "See you in the morning!"
Stuart lay down again.
"This is a very nice bird," he whispered and sighed.
A DIRECT STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK HIT
When Mrs. Little came to Stuart's room to say good night, he asked her:
"Is the bird quite safe downstairs?"
"Quite safe, my dear," answered Mrs. Little.
"What about that cat Snowball?" asked Stuart.
"Snowball will not touch the bird," his mother said. "Please go to sleep and forget all STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK about it."
Mrs. Little opened the window, turned out the light, said good night and went away.
Stuart closed his eyes and lay there in the dark, but he could not sleep. He thought about the bird downstairs. He thought about Snowball and his gleaming eyes. At last he STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK turned on the light.
"I can't trust that cat," he whispered. "I can't sleep when Margalo is in danger."
Stuart climbed out of bed and put on his slippers. He took his bow and arrow and his flash-light and went out into the corridor STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. Everybody was asleep and the house was dark. Stuart went slowly downstairs and came into the dining-room noiselessly. He was still weak after his illness and he felt dizzy.
"I must do it," he said to himself. Noiselessly he went across the room to the lamp which stood near STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the bookshelf and climbed it up. There, on the bookshelf, he saw Margalo who was asleep in the fern, with her head under her wing.
"Sleep, Margalo," Stuart whispered. Then he hid behind a book and began to wait. At first he saw nothing and heard nothing. The clock struck ten STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, and just at that moment Stuart saw two gleaming yellow eyes under the sofa.
"So I was right," thought Stuart. He took his bow and arrow.
The eyes came nearer. Stuart was frightened, but he was a brave mouse. He put the arrow against the cord of the bow STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK and waited. Snowball came softly to the bookshelf and climbed noiselessly up into the chair quite close to it.
There he lay down, ready to spring. His tail waved back and forth. His eyes gleamed bright. Stuart decided that the time had come. He went down STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK on his knees, bent his bow, took aim at Snowball's left ear and shot the arrow.
Snowball screamed with pain, jumped down and ran off to the kitchen.
"A direct hit!" said Stuart. "It was good work!"
He was very tired when he climbed into his bed. He closed his STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK eyes and fell asleep at once.
ON A GARBAGE TRUCK
Margalo liked the Littles' house so much that she decided to stay for a while. She and Stuart became great friends. It seemed to Stuart that Margalo grew more and more beautiful every day.
"I hope she will STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK never fly away from me," he thought.
One day when Stuart was already quite well he took his new skates and went out to look for an ice pond. He didn't get far. In the street he saw a big dog. Very quickly he climbed up an iron STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK gate, jumped into a garbage can and hid there. Just at this time a garbage truck drove up to the gate and two men picked up the can and raised it high in the air. Stuart looked out and saw the big truck.
"If I jump now I STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK shall kill myself," thought Stuart. So he decided to wait. The men threw the can into the truck, where another man turned it upside down and shook everything out. Stuart fell on his head and sank deep into wet garbage. Its smell was very strong. Garbage was under him STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, over him, on all four sides of him. Stuart had egg on his trousers, butter on his coat, orange peel on his cap, and banana peel round his waist.
With the skates in his хэнд, Stuart tried to get to the surface of the garbage. He was almost near STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the top when he slipped and fell into a pool of yesterday's rice pudding.
"I am afraid that I shall be sick," said Stuart, and he tried again to work his way up to the top. At last he got to the surface and looked around. "Why, we are going STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK somewhere!" he said. "And very fast, too!"
He looked up at the sun. "We are going east," he said to himself. "What does it mean?"
There was no way to get out of the truck, the sides were too high. So Stuart had to wait.
Half an hour STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK later the truck reached the East River, which is on the east of New York City, It is a dirty but useful river. The driver drove close to the river and shook out all the garbage into a special boat. Stuart fell down along with everything else and hit STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK his head. He fainted and for an hour lay still as though dead.
A NARROW ESCAPE
While he lay there the time came for the boat to take away the garbage. And when Stuart opened his eyes he saw nothing but water. He was already far from the shore!
"Well," thought STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK Stuart, "this is the end. That will be my last trip in this world! I can do nothing. I have to sit here bravely and die like a man. But I don't want to die with egg on my trousers, butter on my coat, orange peel on my STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK cap and banana peel round my waist!"
Stuart became sad and began to think about his home and his father and mother and brother and about Margalo and Snowball. He loved them all except Snowball. "I shall never see them again," he thought, and tears came into his eyes STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. He began to cry, but suddenly he heard a whisper behind him:
He looked around, through his tears, and there, on a big potato, was Margalo!
"Margalo!" cried Stuart. "How did you get here?" "Well," said the bird, ''this morning I sat on the window-sill. I STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK saw how you went out and then hid in the can, and everything that happened after that. I flew out of the window and followed the truck in order to help you."
"Oh, I am so glad to see you," said Stuart. "But how can you help me STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK?"
"If you take hold of my feet," said Margalo, "I can fly home with you. How much do you weigh?"
"Three ounces and a half," said Stuart. "With your clothes on?" asked Margalo.
"Of course," said Stuart. "Then I can carry you easily." "And what if I get STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK dizzy?" asked Stuart.
"Don't look down," said Margalo. "Then you will not get dizzy. Anything is better than death." "Yes, that is true," said Stuart. "Let us start then. Hang on!"
Stuart hid his skates under his coat and took hold of Margalo's feet. "All ready!" he cried.
Margalo rose STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK into the sky, and flew over the ocean, toward home.
"Ugh!" said Margalo, when they were high in the air, "you smell bad, Stuart."
"I know that," he said sadly. "It's because of the garbage, I hope that you will not get dizzy."
"I cannot breathe," Margalo STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK answered. "And my heart is beating! You must drop something to make yourself lighter." "Shall I drop my skates? They are under my coat," said Stuart.
"Oh, dear!" the bird cried. "I didn't know that you had skates under your coat. Throw these heavy skates away quickly or STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK we shall both fall down in the ocean."
Stuart threw his skates away and they disappeared in the grey waves. "That is better," said Margalo. "It is all right now. I can already see the sky-scrapers of New York City."
Fifteen minutes later, they flew in through STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the open window of the Littles' dining-room and landed on the bookshelf. When Mrs. Little heard about their adventure she took Stuart in her хэнд, though he still smelled bad, and kissed him. Then she sent him upstairs to the bathroom and told George to take Stuart's STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK clothes away.
"How was it there, in the Atlantic Ocean?" asked Mr. Little who never went very far from home.
So Stuart and Margalo told him all about the ocean, and the grey waves with white crests, and the sea-gulls in the sky, and the ships and the strong wind STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. Mr. Little sighed. He said that some day he hoped to get away from his office and see all those fine things.
Everybody thanked Margalo and at supper Mrs. Little gave her a special cake.
Snowball, the cat, liked night-time more than day-time STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. Perhaps it was because he could see better in the dark. But perhaps it was because so many interesting things happened in New York at night.
Snowball had several friends among house cats and street cats. He knew a white Persian cat who lived next door, a tiger cat from the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK library, and a beautiful young Angora cat. This cat had run away from a cage in a pet shop and now lived a free life in the park near Stuart's house.
One spring evening Snowball went to see the Angora cat in the park. The weather was STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK so fine that the Angora cat decided to walk with Snowball to his house to keep him company. When the two cats came up to Mr. Little's house, they sat down near a tall tree which grew under George's window. Snowball usually climbed this tree at night STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK and got into the house through George's open window. Snowball began to tell his friend about Margalo and Stuart.
"Oh, dear," said the Angora cat, "how can it be? You live in the same house with a mouse and a bird and don't do anything about it!"
"Yes STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, it is true," answered Snowball. "But what can I do about it? Please remember that Stuart is a member of the family, and the bird is a guest, like myself."
"Well," said Snowball's friend. "I must say that you have more self-control than I have STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK."
"I think so," said Snowball. "Sometimes it seems to ma that I have too much self-control. I am terribly nervous because I am always holding myself in."
The cats talked so loudly that they woke up a pigeon who was asleep in the tree above their heads. He opened his STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK eyes and began to listen. "It is a very interesting conversation," he thought. "Perhaps I can learn-something important."
"I know that cats have a duty toward their own people," said the Angora cat. "I understand quite well that you can't eat Margalo. But I am not a member STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK of your family, and nothing can stop me from eating her. "
"Nothing," said Snowball.
"Then I'll go," said the Angora cat and began to climb the tree.
The pigeon was ready to fly away when he heard Snowball's voice again.
"Wait a minute," said Snowball. "Don't STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK be in a hurry. Don't go tonight."
"Why not?" asked the Angora cat.
"Well, everybody is at home tonight and you might get into trouble."
"I shall be very careful," said the Angora cat.
"Please wait till tomorrow night," said Snowball. "Mr. and Mrs. Little will be STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK out tomorrow night. It will not be so dangerous. I say it for your own good."
"All right," said the Angora cat. "I can wait. But tell me where I shall find the bird."
"That is simple," said Snowball. "Climb this tree, enter George's room through STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK the open window, then go downstairs and you will find the bird in the fern on the bookshelf in the dining-room."
"It is not difficult," said the Angora cat and smiled. "I am obliged to you, sir."
"Well, well," whispered the pigeon to himself, and flew away. He wanted to STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK find a piece of paper and a pencil. Snowball said good night to his friend, climbed up the tree and went to bed.
Next morning Margalo found a note on the bookshelf:
Beware of a strange cat who will come at night.
Margalo took this note STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK and put it under her wing. She was afraid to show it to anybody — even to Stuart. She could not eat all day long.
"What shall I do?" she thought.
At last, when evening came, she hopped up to an open window and flew away. She did not even say STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK good-bye. It was spring, and she flew north, as fast as she could fly. She felt that north was a good place for a bird in spring.
For three days all the family looked for Margalo.
"I think that she has flown away STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK because of spring," said George. "Normal birds do not stay in houses when spring comes."
"Perhaps she has a husband somewhere and has gone to him," said Mr. Little.
"She has no husband," cried Stuart.
"How do you know?" said George.
"Because I asked her once," said Stuart.
Everybody questioned STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK Snowball about Margalo. But the cat said that he knew nothing.
"I don't know what you want. I have not touched that silly little bird," said Snowball angrily.
Stuart was heart-broken. He had no appetite, ate nothing, and lost weight. At last he decided to run STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK away from home, and go out into the world to look for Margalo.
Early next morning he took his biggest handkerchief and put in it his tooth-brush, his money, his soap, his comb and brush and his pocket compass.
"I must also take something to remember my mother by," he STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK said to himself.
So he went into his mother's bedroom where she was still asleep and pulled one hair from Mrs. Little's comb. He rolled it up and put it in the handkerchief with the other things. Then he мейд a bundle and tied it to STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK one end of a wooden match. He put on his grey hat, took his stick, put the bundle across his shoulder and went softly out of the house.
"Good-bye, dear home," he whispered. "Shall I ever see you again?"
For a moment Stuart stood in the street, in front STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK of the house. The world was a big place, and it was difficult to find a little bird in it. Stuart could not decide which way to go — north, south, east or west. So he went to his new friend Dr. Carey, the dentist, owner of the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK schooner Wasp.
The doctor was glad to see Stuart. He took him into his office. There was a man there. This man's name was Edward Dale. He sat in the chair with his mouth wide open, and Dr. Carey was just going to pull out one of his teeth. It was STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK difficult to pull out that big tooth, so Dr. Carey asked Stuart to sit down on his instrument tray. Now they could talk quietly during the operation.
"This is my friend, Stuart Little," the doctor said to the man with the open mouth.
"How 'oo'oo STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, Soo'rt?" said the man.
"Very well, thank you," said Stuart.
"What are you going to do, Stuart?" asked Dr. Carey and began to pull the man's tooth with a pair of pincers.
"I ran away from home this morning," said Stuart. "I am going out into the STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK world to look for a lost bird. Which way must I go?"
Dr. Carey turned the pincers a little. "What colour is the bird?" he asked.
"Brown," answered Stuart.
"Go north then," said Dr. Carey. "And what do you think, Mr. Dale?"
"'ook in 'entral 'ark," said Mr. Dale.
"What?" cried STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK Stuart.
"'ook in 'entral 'ark," said Mr. Dale.
"He says look in Central Park," explained Dr. Carey and took another pair of pincers from the tray. "It is a good idea. People with bad teeth sometimes have good ideas. Birds like Central Park in spring."
Mr. Dale nodded his head STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK and spoke again. "If 'oo 'on't 'ind 'e 'ird in 'entral 'ark, 'ook in 'onnecticut."
"What?" cried Stuart, who liked this new kind of talk very much. "What did you say, Mr. Dale?"
"If 'oo 'on't 'ind 'e 'ird in 'entral 'ark, 'ook in STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK 'onnecticut."
"He says if you don't find the bird in Central Park, look in Connecticut," explained Dr. Carey. Then he said to Mr; Dale, "Rinse, please."
Mr. Dale took a glass of water from the tray and rinsed his mouth.
"Tell me, Stuart," said Dr. Carey, "how will you travel STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK? On foot?"
"Yes, sir," said Stuart.
"Well, I think you must have a car. As soon as I pull this tooth out we shall try to do something about it. Open your mouth, please, Mr. Dale."
Dr. Carey took hold of the tooth with the pincers again STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, and pulled with all his might. This time the tooth came out. Mr. Dale got up from the chair, said: "Thank you, doctor. Good-bye," and went away.
Then the doctor led Stuart into another room. From a shelf he took a tiny automobile, about six inches long. It was bright STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK yellow and had black wheels.
"I мейд this car myself," said Dr. Carey. "When I am not pulling teeth I like to build model cars and boats and other things. This car has a real motor in it. Can you drive, Stuart?"
"Of course," said Stuart. "I have never tried STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK, but I think it will not be very difficult. But I am afraid this car will attract too much attention. Everybody will stop and look at it."
"But nobody will see it," said Dr. Carey.
"Why not?" asked Stuart.
"Because this automobile is a modern car STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. It is not only noiseless, it is invisible. Nobody can see it."
"I can see it," said Stuart. "There it is!"
"Press that little button!" said Dr. Carey. Stuart pressed the button, and the car disappeared from sight.
"Now press it again," said the doctor.
"How can I press it?" said STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK Stuart. "I can't see it."
"Try to find it. Touch it with your хэнд."
Stuart found a button. It seemed like the same button, so he pressed it with all his might. He heard a noise and something slipped out from his хэнд.
"Look out!" cried Dr. Carey STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK. "You pressed the starter button. Now we shall never catch the car!" Dr. Carey took Stuart and put him on the table because he was afraid that the car might hit him.
"Oh, oh!" Stuart cried when he understood the situation. They could not see the little automobile and STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK all the time it was running all over the room, bumping into things. First they heard a terrible crash near the fire-place, and the broom which stood there fell down. Dr. Carey rushed to the fire-place. But at this moment the car upset the waste-basket. Crash! Crash STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK! The doctor was running all over the room, trying to catch the invisible car.
"Oh! Oh!" cried Stuart, jumping up and down on the table. "I am sorry, Dr. Carey, I am sorry!"
"Take a butterfly net!" shouted the doctor.
"I can't," said Stuart. "I can STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK't carry a butterfly net. I am too small."
"That is true," said Dr. Carey. "I forgot. I beg your pardon, Stuart."
"The car must stop sooner or later," said Stuart. "It will run out of gas. "
"That's true too," said the doctor. So he and Stuart sat down STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK and waited. At last the noise stopped. Then the doctor gat down on his hands and knees and began to crawl all over the room. At last he found the automobile. It was in the fire-place. The doctor pressed the right button and they saw the car. It looked STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK awful. The wheels were broken, the radiator leaked, and on the whole it was a sad sight.
"Stuart!" said the doctor. "I hope that it will be a lesson to you: never press a button on an automobile if you don't know what you are doing."
"Yes, sir STUART GOES OUT FOR A WALK," answered Stuart, and tears came into his eyes. It was an unhappy morning, and Stuart already wanted to be at home again.