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The Pink Fairy Book

The Cat's Elopement
Once upon a time there lived a cat of marvellous beauty, with a skin as soft and shining
as silk, and wise green eyes, that could see even in the dark. His name was Gon, and he
belonged to a music teacher, who was so fond and proud of him that he would not have
parted with him for anything in the world.
Now not far from the music master's house there dwelt a lady who possessed a most
lovely little pussy cat called Koma. She was such a little dear altogether, and blinked her
eyes so daintily, and ate her supper so tidily, and when she had finished she licked her
pink nose so delicately with her little tongue, that her mistress was never tired of saying,
'Koma, Koma, what should I do without you?'
Well, it happened one day that these two, when out for an evening stroll, met under a
cherry tree, and in one moment fell madly in love with each other. Gon had long felt that
it was time for him to find a wife, for all the ladies in the neighbourhood paid him so
much attention that it made him quite shy; but he was not easy to please, and did not care
about any of them. Now, before he had time to think, Cupid had entangled him in his net,
and he was filled with love towards Koma. She fully returned his passion, but, like a
woman, she saw the difficulties in the way, and consulted sadly with Gon as to the means
of overcoming them. Gon entreated his master to set matters right by buying Koma, but
her mistress would not part from her. Then the music master was asked to sell Gon to the
lady, but he declined to listen to any such suggestion, so everything remained as before.
At length the love of the couple grew to such a pitch that they determined to please
themselves, and to seek their fortunes together. So one moonlight night they stole away,
and ventured out into an unknown world. All day long they marched bravely on through
the sunshine, till they had left their homes far behind them, and towards evening they
found themselves in a large park. The wanderers by this time were very hot and tired, and
the grass looked very soft and inviting, and the trees cast cool deep shadows, when
suddenly an ogre appeared in this Paradise, in the shape of a big, big dog! He came
springing towards them showing all his teeth, and Koma shrieked, and rushed up a cherry
tree. Gon, however, stood his ground boldly, and prepared to give battle, for he felt that
Koma's eyes were upon him, and that he must not run away. But, alas! his courage would
have availed him nothing had his enemy once touched him, for he was large and
powerful, and very fierce. From her perch in the tree Koma saw it all, and screamed with
all her might, hoping that some one would hear, and come to help. Luckily a servant of
the princess to whom the park belonged was walking by, and he drove off the dog, and
picking up the trembling Gon in his arms, carried him to his mistress.
So poor little Koma was left alone, while Gon was borne away full of trouble, not in the
least knowing what to do. Even the attention paid him by the princess, who was delighted
with his beauty and pretty ways, did not console him, but there was no use in fighting
against fate, and he could only wait and see what would turn up.
The princess, Gon's new mistress, was so good and kind that everybody loved her, and
she would have led a happy life, had it not been for a serpent who had fallen in love with
her, and was constantly annoying her by his presence. Her servants had orders to drive
him away as often as he appeared; but as they were careless, and the serpent very sly, it
 
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