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Nursery-Rhymes-Fun News, Issue #137 --
June 20, 2018

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THERE were once two little white rats who lived in a hutch with wide bars. They had plenty of soft hay to sleep in, and bread and milk at the proper times. But they were dull, for they never saw the world, and they had nothing to talk of in the long winter evenings. One winter day a Fairy knocked at their door.

“I am cold and hungry,” she said, “and Fairyland is a long way off; I can never get there in this snowy weather.”

“Come in,” said Mrs. White rat, and the Fairy crept in through the bars. Mr. White rat gave the Fairy some bread and milk, and Mrs. White rat sat close beside her in the hay—so that soon the Fairy felt quite warm and cheerful again. And she lodged with the white rats all the winter, and they were all three as happy as could be.

Then when spring came, and the daffydowndillies were waving their yellow heads in the sun, the Fairy said: “I must go home now. You have been very good to me. You may have three wishes.” And she waved her little wand and flew away.

Now, the white rats had often longed to be free, to run about under the haystacks, and bring up large lively families, like the brown farm rats. So now they said—

“Oh! I wish we were out of the hutch!” And in a minute they found themselves among the hayricks.

“Oh! how big and beautiful the world is,” they said.

And then a dreadful thing happened. A great brown rat jumped out at them.

“Get along with you!” it said. “We don’t want any toy rats here.” And it showed its sharp teeth and looked so fierce that Mrs. White rat trembled to the end of her grey tail, as she cried out—

“Oh! I wish we were safe in the hutch!” And the same instant, there they were at home again.

And the third wish? Well, they haven’t made up their minds about that yet. It gives them something to talk about in the winter evenings!

From time to time you might hear someone say “Be careful what you wish for.” This is what they mean.


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