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The Tale of Samuel Whiskers - The Ex-Communicator

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September 26th, 2008


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11:35 am - The Tale of Samuel Whiskers
"Now this is what had been happening to Tom Kitten, and it shows how very unwise it is to go up a chimney in a very old house, where a person does not know his way, and where there are enormous rats..."


Project Gutenberg have a free download of 'The Tale of Samuel Whiskers' which was perhaps my favourite book when I was too young to read for myself and I had to beg other people to read to me. Select the html version which is the illustrated one.

Its written in a fairly sophisticated style. The first half is about a mother cat investigating the disappearance of one of her kittens, and uncovering a series of clues.

'It was an old, old house, full of cupboards and passages. Some of the walls were four feet thick, and there used to be queer noises inside them, as if there might be a little secret staircase. Certainly there were odd little jagged doorways in the wainscot, and things disappeared at night—especially cheese and bacon.'


Eventually Tom kitten is discovered under the floor in the attic, tied up and covered in pudding dough, but still alive. The second half of the book flashes back to the events that lead him to this pass.

ETA - I also want to say the story ends with the two girl kittens growing up to run a successful business: 'They go out rat-catching in the village, and they find plenty of employment. They charge so much a dozen, and earn their living very comfortably.'

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:storme
Date:September 26th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
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This was my favourite Beatrix Potter book when I was little - I adored it. I still think it's her best one.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
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I also liked Jemima Puddleduck which is a sort of allegory of an innocent girl seduced by a wicked gentleman
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From:kalypso_v
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:04 am (UTC)
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That was probably my favourite, though I was also very fond of The Tailor of Gloucester. It's very scary, though, when Tom's in the dough!

I'm getting messages from PG about "do not inline Project Gutenberg - see www.gutenberg.org/howto-link".

Edited at 2008-09-26 11:08 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the warning. I'm not inlining the image (am I? I think that's when you show it?) but I am directing people to their bandwidth so I'll amend my post.
[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure what "inlining" means, but they wouldn't let me see the pictures!
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From:communicator
Date:September 26th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
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nuff said
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From:vilakins
Date:September 26th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
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When they catch the rats, do Tom's sisters kill them? That's disturbing too, what with all sentient, clothed animals, and no wonder they set upon a future predator. A dark universe!

Sometimes just linking to an image will get you that message--it comes up for Lisa's B7 image library--but if you copy and the URL into your browser, it works.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 27th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
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The rats escape to live on a farm. It is a disturbing universe, because both the cats and rats are sentient, and they eat each others' young:

"The house is infested with rats," said Tabitha tearfully. "I caught seven young ones out of one hole in the back kitchen, and we had them for dinner last Saturday."
[User Picture]
From:vilakins
Date:September 27th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
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Ah, tit for tat then! That would have really upset me as a child.

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