Now is the time to be specially watchful, for there is nothing in which rats and mice so delight as a plump, sweet chrysalis; and they care nothing whatever for the three or four thousand yards of silk that is wound about each one. To take this silk off is a delicate piece of work.
Sometimes her little head would project its profile on the page which I was perusing, as though she were trying to discover what it was that thus absorbed me: doubtless, she did not understand why I should look for my happiness beyond the presence of a devoted heart. Her solicitude was no less manifest when she brought me rats or mice.
So off they set, he on his horse and she on her silver spoon, and the two horses that drew her were two tiny white mice; but Boots always kept the other side of the road, he was so afraid lest he should ride over her, she was so little. So, when they had gone a bit of the way, they came to a great piece of water.
Of all worthless junk she thought they were the worst. "They can't catch any but the dull-witted mice," she used to say. "A mouse that knows anything won't go near a trap unless he's hungry. If he wants to go to a little trouble to get a piece of stale cheese he can usually spring the trap without getting caught in it even if he has to use his tail to do it."
The jumping mouse is interesting. It may be seen sometimes at evening in swampy areas and meadows. It is yellowish above, whitish below, with an extremely long tail. It travels by long leaps, takes readily to the water and is an expert swimmer. The meadow mice are bluish grey and are found in swampy places. The wood mice are pure white below, brown above and are found everywhere.
Also, she drew her feet under her hoop, that they might not be noticed, though they were as small as a young child's. And so she minced along with steps like mice, for fear of showing the burst in her shoe.
"Cads mayn't though," said I. Perhaps I ought to have maintained a dignified silence, but that mot was irresistible. "You are hard on a chap," said he. "I tell you what. I've been thinking a lot about you, mademoiselle, and I believe you're up to some little game of your own. When the cat's away the mice will play. You've got rid of your friend, and you're out for a lark on your own. What?"
For they could not imagin or thinke, the Asse who stood alone there, would eate any such meates, neither could they thinke that Mice or Flyes, were so ravenous, as to devouer whole dishes of meat, like the Birds Harpies which carried away the meates of Phineus the King of Archadia.
The hedgehogs were about three months old, and summer, brief and beautiful, was passing away, when an incident occurred that might have proved disastrous, though, fortunately, it resulted only in a practical joke, such as Nature often plays on the children of the wilds. One calm, dark night, while they were busy in the grass, a brown owl, hunting for mice, sailed slowly by.
The plan was for Colonel Dahlgren to cross the river at or near that place, move down on the south side, and be in position to recross by the main bridge into Richmond at ten o'clock, Tuesday morning, March 1, at the same moment when Kilpatrick would enter the city from the north by way of the Brook turnpike. But, "the best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a-gley."