JOHN BROWN, ROSE AND THE MIDNIGHT CAT
Rose's husband died a long time ago. Now she lived with her dog.
His name was John Brown.
John Brown loved Rose, and he looked after her in every way he could.
In summer he sat under the pear tree with her.
In winter he watched as she dozed by the fire. All year round he kept her company.
'We are all right, John Brown,' said Rose. 'Just the two of us, you and me.'
One night Rose looked out of the window and saw something move in the garden.
'What's that in the garden, John Brown?' she said. John Brown would not look.
'Out there,' said Rose.
'I think it's a cat.'
'I don't see any cat,' said John Brown.
'I'm sure it's a cat. Go and give it some milk.'
'There's nobody there,' said John Brown.
But that night, when Rose was safe in bed, John Brown went outside.
He drew a line around the house and told the midnight cat to stay away.
'We don't need you, cat,' he said. 'We are all right, Rose and I.'
The next night Rose saw the midnight cat as he slipped through the shadow of the pear tree.
'Look, there he is, John Brown,' she said.
'Don't you see him now?'
But John Brown shut his eyes.
Rose sighed and packed up her knitting. Then she wound up the clock and took the milk bottles out. John Brown followed her.
'I'm sure there's no cat,,' he said.
But Rose saw the midnight cat often after that.
Every night, when John Brown was not looking, she put out a bowl of milk.
And every night, when Rose was not looking, John Brown tipped it out again.
'You don't need a cat,' he said.
'You've got me.'
One night the midnight cat jumped up at the window and rubbed his back against the glass. His eyes were like lamps, and his fur shone against the ragged sky.
Mr. Porter liked to lie in the bath with his blue boat, his yellow duck, his cup of coffee and his morning paper.
The only trouble was, he lay in the bath for so long, that he was often late for work.
“Late again!” said Mrs. Porter.
“Late again!” said the milkman.
“Late again!” said the bus driver.
Mr. Porter ran into the hardware shop where he worked.
“Late again!” growled his boss.
“I stayed too long in the bath!” said Mr. Porter.
“Put wheels on it!” snapped the boss.
“Then the bath can bring you to work.” Mr. Porter smiled to himself.
“What a fantastic idea!” he thought.
Mr. Porter put five wheels on the bath, four for going and one for steering.
He put in a heater, to keep the water hot, and a fast motor.
“Look at this, my dear!” he called to his wife. “:I'll never be late again.”
The next morning. Mr. Porter steered his bath down the street.
Mrs. Porter called, “Goodbye, dear, goodbye! Don't get soap in your eye!”
The milkman roared with laughter. Then he put his hand over his mouth, and said, “Nothing like a bath to make you laugh.”
The bus driver tooted her horn.
“Good morning, Mr. Porter. Don't run out of water.”
Mr. Porter didn't care if people laughed or stared.
He drank his coffee, read his paper, and wheeled down the street in a stream of bubbles.
Most mornings, Mr. Porter got dressed as soon as he arrived at the shop.
But on cold days, he would stay in the bath to serve customers and answer the phone.
Sometimes, the parcels he wrapped got a bit wet but the customers didn't mind.
Hundreds of people came into the hardware shop to see the man in the bath. It was very good for business.
One day, Mrs. Porter came into the shop.
“I want to talk to you, my dear.”
“Not now,” said Mr. Porter.
“Yes, now!” she said, getting angry.
“I'm busy,” said Mr. Porter, steering his bath away.
That made Mrs. Porter very angry.
She reached into the bath and pulled out the plug.
Water splashed over the shop floor.
“Give me that plug! Quickly!” shouted Mr. Porter.
Mrs. Porter waved the plug in the air.
“Not until we've finished our talk.”
Now the shop floor was covered with water. People waded over to see what was happening.
Mr. Porter wrapped a towel around himself. “What do you want to talk about?”
“The bath!” said Mrs. Porter.
“I can never have a bath because you've always got it at work!”
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She always wore a red cape with a big hood.
Everyone called the little girl Little Red Riding Hood.
One day, Little Red Riding Hood's mother asked her to take a cake to Grandmother.
Her mother said, “Be very careful walking through the woods to Grandmother's house.
Do not talk to strangers and don't leave the big path.”
Soon Little Red Riding Hood met the big, bad wolf.
The wolf asked Little Red Riding Hood where Grandmother lived, and she told him.
He showed Little Red Riding Hood some pretty flowers away from the big path.
The wolf told her to pick some flowers for Grandmother.
Then he went straight to Grandmother's house and knocked on the door.
Grandmother said, “Come in. I am resting in bed.”
Grandmother was very clever and knew it was the big, bad wolf.
She opened the bedroom window so that the wolf would think she had run away.
Grandmother hid in her wardrobe.
Soon the wolf came into Grandmother's bedroom.
The wolf put on Grandmother's nightgown and jumped into her bed.
Then he feel sound asleep.
Soon, Little Red Riding Hood knocked on Grandmother's door.
She went inside the house and into Grandmother's bedroom.
She saw someone asleep in the bed.
Little Red Riding Hood went over to Grandmother's bed to give her the flowers she had picked.
As she came closer, she noticed that there was a horrible smell near the bed.
Little Red Riding Hood then saw the wolf's big, furry ears, his long, pointed nose,
and his bright red mouth.
She now knew that the wolf was not her friend.
Little Red Riding Hood quietly jumped out of the bedroom window that Grandmother had opened.
She found the big path and ran all the way home.
The big, bad wolf remained asleep in the bed. Soon, he began to dream.
He dreamed about eating grandmothers and little girls. The wolf also began snoring.
When Grandmother heard the snoring she knew that the wolf was asleep,
so she crept out of the wardrobe.
Grandmother went outside and found her friend the hunter.
The hunter came to Grandmother's house and went into the bedroom.
He saw the wolf asleep. The hunter tied the wolf up with lots of rope.
When the wolf finally woke up, he was very angry.
Then the hunter took the wolf away. Little Red Riding Hood never talked to strangers in the woods again and always stayed on the big path.