Barks and Purrs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 69 pages of information about Barks and Purrs.


You’re right, it would.

(A mournful silence follows.  TOBY curls himself up like a turban and closes his eyes, because he feels like crying.  His breath comes in little sobs.)

KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (absently, in a low, monotonous chant.)

The dog ... the little dog ... the bones, the little dog ... the rabbit ... the great dane, the rabbit’s hole ...the little dog, the mutton bones ...the rabbit’s skin ...

TOBY-DOG, at first endures the torture heroically; then his nerves betray him and lifting his head he howls—­the long plaint of the abandoned dog.


KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (from the top of the console-table)

Will you be quiet!




That’s it!  That’s it!

(SHE wakes bewildered, still captive of her dreams, while the Cat listens patiently to the approaching step on the stairs, which means liberty for him and punishment for TOBY-DOG.)


Because it is raining and an October wind chases wet leaves through the air, She has lit the first fire of the season in the great chimney-place.  KIKI-THE-DEMURE and TOBY-DOG, in ecstasy, side by side on a corner of the warm hearth-stone, contemplate the flame with dazzled eyes and address their meditations to it.

KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (looking very like a cushion; no paws visible)

Oh Fire, how splendid you are!  You have come back more beautiful than my memory of you!  You are hotter and nearer than the sun!  The pupils of my eyes contract in your light, their lids half close, modestly hiding the joy I feel at seeing you again, and my inscrutable countenance shows but the semblance of a thought painted there in fawn color and black....  Your crackling drowns the soft sound of my purr.  Don’t snap too much.  Be merciful, O inconstant Fire!  Don’t sputter sparks on my fur.  Allow me to adore you without fear ...

TOBY-DOG, (half baked; eyes blood-shot; tongue pendant)

Fire!  Divine Fire!  Here you are again!  I am still very young, but I remember how awe-struck I was the first time Her hand woke you in this same chimney-place.  The sight of a god as mysterious as you are was most impressive to a baby-dog just out of the maternal stable.  Oh Fire, I’ve not quite gotten over my fear!  Hiii!...  You spit at me, something red that smarts ...  I’m afraid ...  Well, it’s gone now.  How beautiful you are, Fire!  Out from your ruddy center shoot tatters and shreds of gold, sudden spurts of blue, and smoke that twists upwards and draws queer shapes of beasts ...  Oh, but I’m hot!  Gently, gently, sovereign Fire, see how my truffle of a nose is drying up and cracking, and my ears—­are they not ablaze?  I adjure thee with suppliant paw.  I groan ... ah ...  I can endure it no longer!... (He turns away.) Nothing is ever perfect.  The east wind coming under the door nips my hind-legs.  Well, it can’t be helped!  I’ll freeze behind if I must, provided I can adore you face to face.

Project Gutenberg
Barks and Purrs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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