Chapter XlV

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Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XlV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII

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Chapter XlV

SPRING

Snowball, the cat, liked night-time more than day-time. 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, 1 a tiger cat 2 from the library, and a beautiful young Angora cat. 3 This cat had run away from a cage in a pet shop 4 and now lived a free life 5 in the park near Stuart's house.

One spring evening Snowball went to see the Angora cat in the park. The weather was so fine that the Angora cat decided to walk with Snowball to his house to keep him company. 6 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 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!" 7

"Yes, 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." 8

"Well," said Snowball's friend. "I must say that you have more self-control than I have."

"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." 9

The cats talked so loudly that they woke up a pigeon who was asleep in the tree above their heads. He opened his 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," 10 said the Angora cat. "I understand quite well that you can't eat Margalo. But I am not a member of your family, and nothing can stop me from eating her. " 11

"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 be in a hurry. 12 Don't go tonight."

"Why not?" asked the Angora cat.

"Well, everybody is at home tonight and you might get into trouble." 13

"I shall be very careful," said the Angora cat.

"Please wait till tomorrow night," said Snowball. "Mr. and Mrs. Little will be out tomorrow night. 14 It will not be so dangerous. I say it for your own good." 15

"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 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." 16

"Well, well," whispered the pigeon to himself, and flew away. He wanted to 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 17 who will come at night.

A well-wisher.

Margalo took this note and put it under her wing. She was afraid to show it to anybody — even to Stuart. She could not eat all day long. 18

"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 good-bye. It was spring, and she flew north, as fast as she could fly. 19 She felt that north was a good place for a bird in spring.

 

 

1 next door — в соседнем доме

2 a tiger cat — полосатый кот

3 Angora cat — ангорская кошка

4 had run away from a cage in a pet shop — сбежала из клетки магазина, где продают домашних животных

5 lived a free life — жила на свободе

6 to keep him company — чтобы составить ему компанию

7 and don't do anything about it — и ничего не предпринимаете (кошки церемонно обращаются друг к другу на «вы»)

8 like myself — как и я

9 I am always holding myself in — мне всегда приходится сдерживаться

10 cats have a duty toward their own people — у кошек есть обязательства по отношению к собственным хозяевам

11 nothing can stop me from eating her — ничто не может помешать мне съесть ее

12 Don't be in a hurry. — Не спешите.

13 you might get into trouble — вы можете нарваться на неприятность

14 Mr. and Mrs. Little will be out tomorrow night — Завтра вечером мистера и миссис Литл не будет дома.

15 for your own good — для вашей же пользы

16 I am obliged to you, sir. — Весьма вам признательна, сэр.

17 Beware of a strange cat — Берегись чужой кошки

18 all day long — целый день

19 she flew north as fast as she could fly — она полетела на север так быстро, как только могла

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