For the Story Teller: Chapter 8 - The Dramatic Story by@carolynsherwin

For the Story Teller: Chapter 8 - The Dramatic Story

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IN the previous chapter we analyzed certain primitive phases of mental life as manifested in the instinctive acts of children. These manifestations of instinct form a basis for our story selection, guiding us toward a final and certain goal of child interest.
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Carolyn Sherwin

For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell

For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey is part of HackerNoon Books Series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. Chapter VIII: THE DRAMATIC STORY

Chapter VIII. THE DRAMATIC STORY

IN the previous chapter we analyzed certain primitive phases of mental life as manifested in the instinctive acts of children. These manifestations of instinct form a basis for our story selection, guiding us toward a final and certain goal of child interest.

One phase of instinct was left out of our discussion except as it was touched upon primarily in the analysis of a child’s instinctive interest in rhythm. This is the instinct to express through bodily movements the ideas that have found a permanent place for themselves in the mind.

Little E, three years old, was told by her nurse the folk tale of “The Old Woman and Her Pig.” She had heard very few stories, and this one seemed to delight her beyond words. She laughed and clapped her hands over it, and begged to have it repeated and retold even a third time. She made no comment upon the text of the story, however. A week later, she was left alone in her nursery for a short period during the morning and her mother, busy with household duties upon the floor below, thought that she heard E’s voice. Going, quietly, to the door of the nursery she saw E standing, dramatically, in the center of the room, holding a toy broom under her arm, and shaking her finger at a small china pig that stood on the floor in front of her. As she did this, she said in the exact words of the story that had been told her:

“Piggy won’t get over the stile, and I shall not get home to-night.”

“What are you doing, E?” her mother asked in some surprise.

E looked up in wonder as if she, herself, knew a reason for her actions but one that needed no explanation. Finally she spoke:

“I’m doing a story, mother,” she replied.

This incident of E’s instinctive and almost unconscious dramatization of a story which she had heard and whose images had become fixed in her mind illustrates a very common characteristic of a child’s mental life, the instinctive impulse to vitalize the mental life by putting it into terms of expression. It is true that instinctive expression as commonly defined includes in its first manifestations only certain unlearned motor responses, those forms of expression that are ours without previous training or experience. A child cries at a pain, laughs when he is tickled, starts in fear at a sudden and loud noise. These are the primitive forms of instinctive expression, but beyond these and through the use of certain child stories that are full of action, compelling dialogue, and quick movement comes a development of the dramatic instinct in childhood of wonderful value to the teacher.

Why do we want to make use of the dramatic instinct in childhood?

First, because this instinct to do, to act, to express is so common a part of each child’s mental content upon entering school that it forms part of our previously discussed child brain capital. The instinct to do a story, to give it expression in terms of bodily movement would not be given a child unless it had some value for the educator.

Second, we want to utilize the dramatic instinct of childhood, because it is a very sure way of helping a child to gain poise, self-control, and a complete mastery of his environment. The ability to give adequate expression through speech or action to the mental life characterizes the well-developed individual as opposed to the victim of self-consciousness. It means grace of body and freedom of verbal expression.

What qualities differentiate the dramatic child story from that story which is not as well adaptable for child acting?

Primarily, the story that we select for purposes of dramatization should have the quality of being visual—that is, it should be so full of simple, pictorial scenes, episodes and events that it will bring to the minds of the children a definite sequence of word pictures, stimulative to action. This “moving picture” quality is found in the old folk tales, the fables of Æsop and La Fontaine. Here the stage setting of the stories is simple and easily pictured by the child listeners. The story events find an immediate and permanent place in the child’s mind and a possible outlet in action because of their apperceptive quality.

The story of “The Little Red Hen” is an interesting type of the story that lends itself to child dramatizing because of its visual quality. There is a series of home scenes; the little Red Hen’s garden, her house, her kitchen, all familiar and easily seen by children but illuminated with the interest of mystery because of the Hen, herself, and her friends, the Cat and the Frog. “The Elves and the Shoemaker” is also a good story for child acting, while among the most dramatic visual fables are “The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Lark and Her Young Ones” and “The Hare and the Tortoise.”

The second quality that the story teller should have in mind in selecting stories for child dramatizing is simplicity of dialogue. The story actors should converse, if not in childlike manner, at least in a simple, easy-to-understand vocabulary that will add to a child’s store of words but will not tax him too much in reproduction. Here, again, we must turn to folk tales and fables for simple, straightforward, rich dialogue. Quite naturally and without apparent effort children verbalize the dialogue of “The Little Red Hen” after hearing the story once or twice.

“Who will build my fire?” she said.
“Not I!” said the Frog.
“Not I!” said the Cat.
“Then I will,” said the Little Red Hen.

These and the other bits of simple dialogue that go to make up the plot of this story; the conversation between the Wolf and the Pig in the story of “The Three Little Pigs,” the Lark and her little ones, Jack and the different characters in the Beanstalk story, the “Lion and the Mouse”—these are all examples of easily reproduced dialogue, stimulating spontaneous dialogue on the part of the children.

One further consideration in connection with the dramatic story—spontaneity.

Because of the popularity of so-called story dramatization among kindergartners and primary teachers, a school of child acting in kindergartens and the grades has sprung into life. Stories are dramatized for children rather than by the children themselves, and the results obtained through unnecessary costuming, certain stage properties and memorized dialogue are of no appreciable value in the mental development of the child. A child impersonates a pig gifted with human attributes, spontaneously, but he plays the part of a dressed-up fairy in a wooden, unspontaneous fashion. The difference between the two is just the difference between instinctive expression and prescribed action. In his “Principles of Psychology,” Professor Thorndyke says:

“Given any mental state, that movement will be made which the inborn constitution of the nervous system has connected with the mental state or part of it. The baby reaches for a bright object because, by inner organization, that sense presentation is connected with that act. For the same reason he puts an object into his mouth when he feels it within his grasp. The boy puts up his arm and wards off a blow because his brain is so organized as to connect those responses with those situations.

“Given any mental state, that movement will be made which has been connected with it or part of it most frequently, most recently, in the most vivid experience and with the most satisfying results.”

This careful and concrete statement of the law governing instinctive movement gives us our cue for selecting stories for child dramatizing and our method in presenting them, having in view—not child acting, but spontaneous child action. We will provide no costumes for our children, set no stage, but only give them that story which will suggest to them a recent, frequently repeated, vivid experience with its accompanying satisfying results in certain spontaneous movements.

Suppose we illustrate with a possible, voluntary dramatizing of the old and well loved folk tale of “The Gingerbread Boy.” The experiences suggested to children by this story and suggesting action to them are the chase and the sense stimulus of food. After hearing the story a number of times until they are quite familiar with its dialogue and its characters and its sequence of episodes, the teacher may suggest to the children that they play it. A disastrous way to begin the play would be to assign the different characters in the story to different children, showing them where to stand or asking them to try and use the exact words that the story characters did. Rather should the dramatizing of the story be a developing process on the part of the teacher. If she has made the story permanent in the minds of the children, their rendering of it in action will be free and their dialogue spontaneous.

“Who wants to be the Gingerbread Boy?

“Who would like to be the Gingerbread Boy’s mother?

“I see a child with very bright, sharp eyes. Is he not the Fox?

“We will need many Mowers and some Threshers.

“Who is the Pig, and who the Cow?”

These or similar hints on the part of the teacher are cues for the opening of the play—all that is needed, usually, to start the spontaneous dramatization. As naturally as if she were the story character herself, the little old woman mother rolls and pats the Gingerbread Boy into shape, puts him in an imaginary oven and then falls asleep. He makes his escape, is interviewed in turn by the Threshers, the Mowers, the Pig and the Cow, makes his escape from them also, only to be eventually captured and eaten by the Fox. As the story play goes on, it will be discovered that the child actors are rendering with perfect diction the dialogue of the story, enriching their vocabulary and gaining power of verbal expression. It will be discovered also that their movements are illustrative of the story, and absolutely lacking in self consciousness, typical of an added quota of poise and self-control gained through the play. Certain responses are always made to certain mind situations. What need is there of stage setting since a child actor sees in his mind’s eye the barn full of Mowers whose mouths are watering to eat him up? Why should the tired-out teacher spend long after-school hours sewing together costumes when, at an instant’s notice, a child is able to clothe himself in the sleek red coat and valiant brush of a fox?

It is to be questioned if the books of so-called dramatic stories for children which may be obtained now are really educational or have for their place upon the teacher’s desk a firm psychologic background. Most of them seem to have for their scheme of compiling child acting, not action. The child on the stage is not developing mentally. Rather is he a mentally starved puppet, moved about by the wires of the stage and repeating lines in parrot-like fashion. The little girl, E, quoted at the beginning is an example of mental growth through spontaneous action. So the books of dramatic stories seem to have been prepared having in mind what the child should say or do, rather than presenting such interesting story material in such interesting form that a child will speak and do without any further stimulus than that of the story itself.

In selecting our stories for child dramatizing we will go to original sources and choose only such stories as are so rich in homely, apperceptive incidents, and so marked by possibilities for simple, interpretive dialogue as to lend themselves to instinctive action on the part of the children.

The Gingerbread Boy

AS DRAMATIZED BY A GROUP OF CHILDREN

The Actors:

A Little Old Woman.
A Little Old Man.
Some Mowers.
Some Threshers.
A Pig.
A Fox.
The Gingerbread Boy.

Act I

Place: A Kitchen.

Time: Saturday Morning.

The Little Old Man Sits in a corner.

The Little Old Woman is seen, too, stirring cake dough and singing as she stirs:

“Sugar, and spice, and everything nice—

That’s what a little girl’s made of;

Snaps, and snails, and puppy dogs’ tails;

That’s what a little boy’s made of!

“Ah, well-a-day, but I wish I had a little boy for all that! Some one to run to the store, and bring in the kindlings, and drive the cows to pasture, and feed the pig, and get into mischief, and be rocked to sleep in the evening.”

She calls to the Little Old Man:

“Father! Oh, I say, Father! Fetch me the jug of molasses from the pantry. I am making a gingerbread cake for your supper!”

The Little Old Man does not move, or stir.

The Little Old Woman calls louder: “Fetch me the molasses jug, Father!”

The Little Old Woman crosses to the chimney corner, and shakes the Little Old Man, but he is asleep and does not wake.

The Little Old Woman holds up her hands in despair.

“Dearie me! I might as well have a broom for a Goodman as he. There is nothing done in the house unless I attend to it myself,” she says.

She leaves the kitchen for a moment, returning with the jug of molasses. She pours some molasses into the bowl, stirs again, and finally empties the dough out upon the board, rolling it flat with her rolling pin. Suddenly she stops, rolling pin in air.

The Little Old Woman: “I have it! I will make me a Gingerbread Boy!”

She works very fast, talking as she shapes the Gingerbread Boy with her fingers.

The Little Old Woman: “Here is his dear little head, with currants for eyes, and one raisin for his nose, and three raisins for his mouth. Here is his fine little jacket with a row of currants for buttons; and here are his two fine, fat little legs. Here are his arms, and here are his shoes!”

She lays the completed Gingerbread Boy in the baking pan and dances about the kitchen with it in her hands, singing as she dances, the Song of the Gingerbread Man:

“Hickory, dickory, dickory, dan;

Heigho, I sing for a Gingerbread Man!

Currants for eyes, and a round raisin nose,

Gingerbread shoes on his gingerbread toes,

Gingerbread jacket, so tight and neat,

Gingerbread smiles on his face so sweet,

Hickory, dickory, dickory, dan;

Heigho, I sing for a Gingerbread Man!”

As she finishes her song, she opens the imaginary oven door, and, kneeling down, puts in the tin which holds the Gingerbread Boy. Then she shakes the Little Old Man again.

The Little Old Woman: “Wake up, I say, Father! Wake up! Wake up! The garden’s to be weeded, and the butter’s to be churned! Wake up, I say, and mind the oven. There’s a fine little Gingerbread Boy baking inside!”

The Little Old Man wakes very slowly, and looking all about the kitchen says in a dazed sort of way: “What’s that you say, Mother? I don’t see any little Gingerbread Boy.”

The Little Old Woman goes to the stove and points to the oven. “He’s in here baking. Do you mind him while I’m away. In twenty minutes by the clock, do you open the oven door, and the Gingerbread Boy will be baked.”

The Little Old Man: “Yes, yes, Mother. Do you go and weed the garden and churn. I’ll sit here, and mind the oven.”

The Little Old Woman leaves the kitchen. After she has gone, the Little Old Man re-lights his pipe. Then he gets up from his chair and peeps in the oven door.

The Little Old Man: “A fine, fat Boy! A very fine, fat Gingerbread Boy! How his buttons shine, and he is swelling so much that his jacket is splitting. I shall eat him for my supper!”

He goes back to his chair, and begins smoking, but soon his head nods. He looks up at the clock.

The Little Old Man: “In twenty minutes I will take him out. I think I shall have a short nap in the meantime.”

The Little Old Man falls fast asleep again, his pipe falling to the floor. As he sleeps, the oven door opens a little as if some one had pushed it from the inside. The real Gingerbread Boy peeps out through the crack. When he sees that the Little Old Man is asleep, he steps out. He begins blowing on his fingers and he puts them in his mouth as if they were burned. He fans himself with the baking tin which he brings with him out of the oven, and he hops about the kitchen on the tips of his toes.

The Gingerbread Boy: “My, but that oven was warm! I might have been burned to a crisp before any one remembered to take me out. So this is my new home!”

He looks about in all the corners of the kitchen.

“And this is my new father!”

He goes over to the Little Old Man, and pulls his wig. Then he sits down, cross-legged on the hearth, and goes on talking to himself.

The Gingerbread Boy: “I don’t know whether I want to live in this house or not. I know what little boys have to do.”

He counts on his fingers:

“They have to run to the store, and bring in kindlings, and drive the cows and feed the pigs. I’d rather have a good time. I think I will run away.”

He jumps up, and looks around the room, cautiously.

“There’s nobody here to see me go. Hurrah! Hurrah! Here I go, off by myself to see the world!”

He runs lightly out of the kitchen.

Act II

Place: A country road. The Gingerbread Boy is discovered, sitting on top of the wall, talking to himself.

The Gingerbread Boy: “Here I am, out by myself, seeing the world. The world’s a very pleasant place, only I do wish I were not made of gingerbread, and I do wish that everybody wasn’t so hungry. Wherever I travel some one wants to eat me. Bless my buttons, there comes some one now!”

The Mowers come slowly along with their scythes over their shoulders. They sing as they walk:

“On Chopnose Day the Mowers rise,

As every one supposes,

And march upon the grass and flowers,

And cut off all their noses.”

Suddenly the Mowers discover the Gingerbread Boy.

First Mower: “Who sits there on top of the wall?”

Second Mower: “It is a little boy made of gingerbread.”

First Mower: “Let us eat him!”

Second Mower, going up to the Gingerbread Boy: “Good morning, my lad, where do you come from, and where are you going this fine morning?”

The Gingerbread Boy hops down from the wall, and dances away on the tips of his toes:

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,

And a Little Old Man.

I can run away from you,

I can!Run, run, as fast as you can,You can’t catch me,

I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

He disappears, followed by the Mowers, but reappears at the other end of the road, looking frightened and out of breath.

The Gingerbread Boy: “They didn’t catch me that time, but you never can tell what’s going to happen next. There comes somebody else.”

The Threshers are seen passing with their flails over their backs.

One of the Threshers: “Who is that by the side of the road?”

A Second Thresher: “That is a Gingerbread Boy!”

Both of the Threshers, going up to the Gingerbread Boy very fiercely: “Come with us and be eaten, my lad!”

The Gingerbread Boy dances a little way ahead of the Threshers as he calls back to them:

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,

And a Little Old Man,

Some Mowers—and—I can run away from you,

I can.Run, run, as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me,

I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

He runs away a second time, followed by the Threshers, but he is seen in a moment at the end of the road. He climbs up on the wall again.

The Gingerbread Boy: “I wonder who will try and eat me next!”

He puts his hand up to his eyes. “There comes some one now!”

The Pig enters, grunting.

The Pig:

“One of us went to market; and one of us stayed at home.

One of us had roast beef, but I’m the Pig who had none!”

“I’m hungry enough to eat green apples. Ahe! What do I see? A Gingerbread Boy!” He walks up to the wall, and stands on his back feet, but he cannot reach to the top. The Gingerbread Boy dances on top of the wall.

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,

And a Little Old Man,

Some Mowers, some Threshers—and—

I can get away from you, I can.

Jump, jump, as high as you can,

You can’t catch me,

I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The Pig tries to get the Gingerbread Boy, but he is not able to, and he walks away, still grunting.

The Gingerbread Boy: “Well, he didn’t get me. I believe I am able to take care of myself after all. Why, who is that great creature, coming down the road?”

The Fox enters. He sees the Gingerbread Boy, but he pretends that he does not. He sits down and waits. The Gingerbread Boy watches the Fox. Then he speaks to him.

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
A Little Old Man,
Some Mowers, some Threshers, a Pig—and—
I can run away from you, I can!”

the Gingerbread Boy says.

The Fox speaks in a deep, gruff voice, without moving.

The Fox: “Step a little closer, Sonny. I’m very hard of hearing.”

The Gingerbread Boy jumps down from the wall, and goes quite close to the Fox, speaking very loudly:

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
A Little Old Man.
Some Mowers, some Threshers, a Pig—and—
I can run away from you, I can!”

The Fox speaks again, without moving.

The Fox: “You will have to step closer yet, Sonny, I’m very, very hard of hearing.”

The Gingerbread Boy goes up to the Fox, shouting in his ear. As he does so, the Fox eats him up.

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Characters in the Play:

A Mouse Who Lives in Town.
A Mouse Who Lives in the Country.
Some other Mice, as many as one wishes, who live in the same hole as the country mouse.
They include his Father, his Mother, and a number of Brothers and Sisters; a Cat.

THE FIRST PART OF THE STORY

Place: A mouse hole in a barn.

Time: The early evening of a day in the fall.

The Father, Mother, and younger mice are seen, sitting about, and nibbling bits of candles, turnips, carrots, and other dainties.

The Father, taking a large bite of turnip, and speaking between mouthfuls:

“I have been a mile to the south and a mile back to-day without meeting an enemy. I found a field of corn, and a garden of turnips, and a patch of large, juicy cabbages. For a comfortable, fat old age, there is no place like the country.”

The Mother, running about very nimbly, and gathering up all the candle ends:

“You are right, Father. The farmer’s wife cleaned the candlesticks to-day, and she threw away all these ends. This evening I shall make a large tallow pudding!”

One of the younger Mice, who jumps up, and begins dancing very gracefully about the mouse hole on the tips of her toes:

“Everybody goes to bed so very, very early in the country. A mouse may dance until morning without being caught.”

As she dances, the other Mice drop whatever they were eating, and they sing in funny, squeaking voices, a tune to which her feet keep time.

This is their song:

“Squeak, squeak, skip, skip!
Gather your tail up, and trip, trip!
Crickets and grasshoppers dance by day,
But night is the time for a mouse to play,
When the moon shines round, like a great big cheese—
When only the sleepy Sand Man sees—
Then—Squeak, squeak, skip, skip!
Gather your tails up, and trip, trip!"

When the Mice finish their song, the Father looks all about the hole. Then he speaks.

The Father: “I do not see your brother. Where is your brother?”

The Mother, peering about in all the dark corners of the mouse hole: “Where is my son? Oh, where is my son?”

All the younger Mice, speaking together: “Oh, where is our brother?”

As the younger Mice speak, the Country Mouse enters at the back of the mouse hole. He wears a large red necktie which has green spots, and is tied in a bow in front. He seems to be very much excited. All the Mice crowd about him.

The Father, taking the Country Mouse by his paw and leading him to the front of the mouse hole:

“Where have you been all day, my son?”

The Mother, re-tying the Country Mouse’s necktie: “You seem out of breath, my dear!”

All the younger Mice, excitedly: “Where have you been? Oh, do tell us where you have been?”

The Country Mouse: “I have had an adventure. I started out early this morning for the dairy, because I heard some one say that there were cheeses being made. On the way to the dairy I met a very fine Mouse, passing by on his way to town. He lives in the town, and he told me all about his home.”

All the younger Mice, crowding closer that they may hear what the Country Mouse is saying:

“What did the Town Mouse tell you about his home?”

The Country Mouse: “He said that he lived in a pantry!”

The Father: “A pantry?”

The Mother: “A pantry?”

All the younger Mice: “A pantry?”

The Country Mouse: “Yes, a pantry! There are pies there, and cakes. There are fat hams, and juicy spare ribs. There are puddings, and there are cheese rinds lying about on the shelves. The servants are careless, and at night they leave the food uncovered. Then the Town Mouse comes out of the wall and sits on the pantry table, and eats his fill.

“No cold gardens to be searched for food. No frozen fields to be dug over for roots and corn stalks.”

The Country Mouse looks disdainfully about the hole. Then he goes on speaking.

The Country Mouse: “The Town Mouse invited me to come and visit him this evening!”

The Younger Mice: “Oh!”

The Father, shaking his head, doubtfully: “Don’t go, my boy. There is a wild animal who lives in town houses. She has eyes as large as saucers. She wears cushions on her feet that no one may hear her when she walks. She has sharp claws and sharper teeth. She can see in the dark.”

The Mother: “It is the Cat! Don’t go to town, my son. The Cat eats mice!”

The Country Mouse: “I am not afraid of the Cat. I am tired of this dull life in the country. I want to see sights, and taste the good things that are to be found in pantries. I am going, to-night, to visit the Town Mouse!”

The Father, Mother, and all the younger Mice try to hold the Country Mouse, but he gets away from them. He runs away through the back of the mouse hole.

THE SECOND PART OF THE STORY

Place: A pantry.

The Town Mouse sits on the edge of the table, eating, but nervously, and looking all about him as he nibbles.

Under one of the shelves, and behind the Town Mouse, so that he is not able to see her, sits the Cat.

Time: Midnight of the same evening.

The Cat plays that she is asleep, but she is really watching the Town Mouse. Suddenly she sneezes.

The Town Mouse, dropping a large piece of cheese, which he has been eating, and looking around in a frightened way:

“Oh, my ears and whiskers! Is that a sneeze which I hear?”

He trembles and shakes violently. He sees no one, though, so he picks up the cheese in one paw and a slice of bread in the other. As he nibbles, he talks to himself.

The Town Mouse: “I am tired of this life in town. Late suppers, and rich food to disturb one’s digestion; traps, traps everywhere—wooden traps, and wire traps, round traps, and square traps; traps with doors, and traps with windows—and always a Cat hiding in a corner. She may be in the room now for all I know.

“To-day I took a walk in the country and I met a little farmer mouse in a red necktie. He thought he would like to live in town.

“Ough!” the Town Mouse shivers, “I wish I were safe in the country, now!”

There is a little noise at the back of the pantry, and the Country Mouse enters in great glee, looking about at all the food. The Cat sees the Country Mouse, and she creeps, softly, a little farther under the shelf, keeping watch of him all the time.

The Town Mouse, jumping down from the table, and motioning with one paw for the Country Mouse to make less noise:

“Oh, why did you come? It isn’t safe here. You should have stayed in the country.”

The Country Mouse, paying no attention to the Town Mouse, but running nimbly around the table and tasting all the different things.

The Country Mouse: “Cheese, and bread, and cake, and pie—and jam!”

He puts his paw down in a jam pot, and eats a little jam. Then he crosses to the Town Mouse and pats him on his back.

The Country Mouse: “A thousand thanks, my fine fellow. This pantry of yours is a palace, and you are the prince. No quiet, country life for me. Here will we live and eat our fill—”

He stops suddenly, as the Cat once more sneezes.

The Town Mouse, wringing his paws, and whispering in great fright: “I heard it a moment or so ago. I’ll wager I heard it; and now I hear it again. Some one sneezed.”

The Country Mouse, glancing about, but seeing no one: “Who sneezed?”

The Town Mouse: “The Cat.”

The Country Mouse: “Where is the Cat?”

The Town Mouse: “The Cat is everywhere. She isn’t in the room, now, but she may be on her way. Hours and hours she sits at the door of my hole so I can’t come out in the evening. Then she chases me when I try to snatch a bite of supper, and she follows me—follows, wherever I go.”

The Country Mouse, in a frightened voice: “Are her eyes as large as saucers? Does she wear cushions on her feet that no one may hear her when she walks? Has she sharp claws, and sharper teeth? Can she see in the dark? Does she eat—mice?”

The Cat suddenly springs from her corner. There is a great scamper, in which the mice make their escape, but the Country Mouse leaves his long tail in the Cat’s paws.

Dramatic form arranged by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey.

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Bailey, Carolyn Sherwin. 2018. For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/58107/58107-h/58107-h.htm#Page_142

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