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, in the sunniest corner, lying in an arm-chair piled with cushions, a large tabby cat. "Just then a gust of wind closed the door, and Furry-Purry ran round the house to the barn and remained all day hidden in her hole under the boards. "That night there was a storm, and several cats in the neighborhood crept into the barn for safety. There was old Mrs. Barebones, a cat with a bad cough, which was thought to be in a decline; Tom Skip-an'-jump, a sprightly young fellow with a tenor voice which he was fond of using on moonlight nights; and Robber Grim, a fierce, one-eyed creature--the pest of the neighborhood--with a great head and neck and flabby, hanging cheeks and bare spots on his tawny coat where the fur had been torn out in his fierce battles. "The thunder roared overhead and the lightning, shining through the cracks, played on the barn floor and showed the cats sitting gravely in a circle. Only Tom Skip-an'-jump, who still kept his kittenish tricks, went frisking after his tail and turning somersaults in the hay. Presently he tumbled over Furry-Purry and bit her ear. "'Come, play!' said he: 'it's a jolly time for puss-in-the-corner.' "'Tom,' said Furry-Purry, 'I never shall play again. I am very unhappy. I have seen Mrs. Tabitha Velvetpaw lying on a silk cushion, while I make my bed in the hay. She walks on a lovely soft carpet, and I have only this barn floor. O Tom, I want to be a house-cat.' "'A house-cat!' repeated Tom disdainfully. 'They sleep all day. They get their tails pulled and their ears pinched by horrid monsters with only two legs to walk on, and nights--beautiful moonlight nights when we barn-cats are roaming the alleys and singing on the roofs and having a good time generally--they are locked in cellars and garrets and made to watch rat-holes. Oh, no! not for Tom.' "He was off with a whisk of his tail to the highest beam in the barn, looking down on them with the greenest of green eyes, and singing,-- 'Some love the home Of a lazy drone, And a bed on a cushioned knee; But in wild free ways I will spend my days, And at night on the roofs I'll be. Oh, 'tis my delight, On a moonlight night'-- "'Don't listen to him, my dear,' said Mrs. Barebones, the consumptive cat; 'he's a wild, thoughtless creature, quite inexperienced in the ways of the world. Heed the counsels of one whose sands of life are almost run and who, before she goes to the land of c
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