The Faithless Parrot

The Faithless Parrot

Charles H. Bennett

Fiction

There once lived happily together, in a fine house, a tortoise-shell Cat and a pretty white Dog: the Cat’s name was Tittums; the Dog’s, Fido. In course of time the pretty Dog fell in love with the Cat, and only waited for a good chance to disclose his affections. This came one day, when Tittums had put her paws on the fender, dropped her head a little on one side, half closed her eyes, and seemed thinking of nothing at all. Then Fido, who lay stretched at full length upon the hearth-rug, looked steadfastly at her, and heaving a gentle whine, said,— “Oh, Tittums, I’ve fallen in love!” FIDO COURTING TITTUMS. “Indeed!” replied the prudent Cat, not wishing to show him how anxious she was. “Yes, indeed,” continued the little Doggy, rather hurt at her coldness: “it’s you that I’ve fallen in love with. Do you like me, Tittums?” But Tittums would not answer, even with a single purr-r! and it was only upon her giving him a sly look out of the corner of her left eye that he guessed how much she did like him. However, made bold by even this small token of esteem, he came quietly up, and sat by her side; even going so far, at last, as to take her out for a short walk down the garden-path, where they looked through the railings at the people passing by. “Well,” said Fido to himself, “I have no doubt but she will love me in time; all the more, as I have great hopes of growing bigger before the spring.” But one morning, when Tittums came in from a visit she had been paying her mamma, she was followed by a gentleman from the tropics, who, with all the impudence of his race, made himself quite at home, pressed Tittums’ paw to his heart, called her “the loveliest of Cats,” asked her to oblige him with a song, which he had been told she could sing very sweetly, and never took the least notice of poor Fido, who was sitting in the corner. To tell the truth, poor Fido was very cross, and began to growl quite savagely; the more so when, to his dismay, he beheld the pleasure with which Tittums heard all this nonsense. He could not think what right the bold stranger had to come there unasked; for all that he had bright red and green feathers, a rakish, broad-brimmed hat, and a gold-headed walking-cane, he was not good-looking, that was very certain. But Tittums was very much struck by his appearance and bearing; his feathers were so pretty, he spoke so many languages, shrieked so terribly and in such a loud voice, had travelled so much, and was so struck by the beauty of Tittums, that, poor little Cat as she was, she ceased to care a button for faithful Fido, and kept all her sly glances for Mr. Paul Parrot. “Lovely Tittums,” said Mr. Paul, “you must forget such upstart puppies as Fido. Listen to me—I am a traveller—I speak five languages,—I have a palace made of golden bars, within which is a perch fit for a king,—I have a pension of bread and milk and Barcelona nuts: all of which I will share with you. To-morrow we will go for a trip into the field next to the house. Good-by for the present, my dear Pussy Cat;” and he went away kissing his hand. Poor Fido howled. Naughty Tittums! TITTUMS DESERTING FIDO. As day followed day, Miss Puss neglected her little Dog more and more. She walked out with Mr. Paul Parrot, she sang to him, looked kindly at him, and, in fact, only seemed happy when he was by. Poor Fido was true to his first love, although almost brought to despair; he got very thin indeed, and his fine bushy coat, which he had kept nice and clean, became ragged and dirty....
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