The Tale of

Tom Kitten

By Beatrix Potter


Once upon a time there were three little kittens, and their names were Mittens, Tom Kitten, and Moppet.

Once upon a time there were three little kittens,
and their names were Mittens, Tom Kitten, and Moppet.

They had dear little fur coats of their own;
and they tumbled about the doorstep and played in the dust.

But one day their mother—Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit—
expected friends to tea;
so she fetched the kittens indoors,
to wash and dress them,
before the fine company arrived.

First she scrubbed their faces
(this one is Moppet).

First she scrubbed their faces (this one is Moppet).
Then she brushed their fur, (this one is Mittens).

Then she brushed their fur,
(this one is Mittens).

Then she combed their tails
and whiskers (this is Tom Kitten).

Tom was very naughty,
and he scratched.

Then she combed their tails and whiskers (this is Tom Kitten).
She took all sorts of elegant uncomfortable clothes out of a chest of drawers, in order to dress up her son Thomas.

Mrs. Tabitha dressed Moppet
and Mittens in clean pinafores and tuckers;
and then she took all sorts of elegant
uncomfortable clothes out of a chest of drawers,
in order to dress up her son Thomas.

Tom Kitten was very fat,
and he had grown;
several buttons burst off.
His mother sewed them on again.

Tom Kitten was very fat, and he had grown; several buttons burst off.
Now keep your frocks clean, children!

When the three kittens were ready,
Mrs. Tabitha unwisely turned them out into the garden,
to be out of the way while she made hot buttered toast.

"Now keep your frocks clean, children!
You must walk on your hind legs.
Keep away from the dirty ash-pit,
and from Sally Henny Penny,
and from the pig-stye
and the Puddle-Ducks."

Moppet and Mittens walked
down the garden path unsteadily.
Presently they trod upon their pinafores
and fell on their noses.

When they stood up there
were several green smears!

Moppet and Mittens walked down the garden path unsteadily.
They turned their pinafores back to front.

"Let us climb up the rockery,
and sit on the garden wall," said Moppet.

They turned their pinafores back to front,
and went up with a skip and a jump;
Moppet's white tucker fell
down into the road.

Tom Kitten was
quite unable to jump
when walking upon his hind
legs in trousers.
He came up the rockery by degrees,
breaking the ferns,
and shedding buttons right and left.

His hat fell off, and the rest of his buttons burst.
Moppet and Mittens tried to pull him together.

He was all in pieces
when he reached the top of the wall.

Moppet and Mittens
tried to pull him together;
his hat fell off,
and the rest of his buttons burst.

While they were in difficulties,
there was a pit pat paddle pat!
and the three Puddle-Ducks
came along the hard high road,
marching one behind the other
and doing the goose step—pit pat
paddle pat! pit pat waddle pat!

While they were in difficulties, there was a pit pat paddle pat!
The Puddle-Ducks

They stopped and stood in a row,
and stared up at the kittens.
They had very small eyes
and looked surprised.

Then the two duck-birds,
Rebeccah and Jemima Puddle-Duck,
picked up the hat and tucker
and put them on.

Then the two duck-birds, Rebeccah and Jemima Puddle-Duck, picked up the hat and tucker and put them on.
>Mittens laughed so that she fell off the wall.

Mittens laughed so
that she fell off the wall.
Moppet and Tom descended after her;
the pinafores and all the rest of
Tom's clothes came off on the way down.

"Come! Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck,"
said Moppet—"Come and help us to dress him!
Come and button up Tom!"

Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck
advanced in a slow sideways manner,
and picked up the various articles.

Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck advanced in a slow sideways manner, and picked up the various articles.
They fitted him even worse than Tom Kitten.

But he put them on himself!
They fitted him even worse than Tom Kitten.

"It's a very fine morning!"
said Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck.

And he and Jemima and Rebeccah
Puddle-Duck set off up the road,
keeping step—pit pat, paddle pat!
pit pat, waddle pat!

And he and Jemima and Rebeccah Puddle-Duck set off up the road.
Then Tabitha Twitchit came down the garden and found her kittens on the wall with no clothes on.

Then Tabitha Twitchit
came down the garden
and found her kittens on the wall
with no clothes on.

She pulled them off the wall,
smacked them, and
took them back to the house.

"My friends will arrive in a minute,
and you are not fit to be seen;
I am affronted,"
said Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit.

She pulled them off the wall, smacked them, and took them back to the house.
She sent them upstairs; and I am sorry to say she told her friends that they were in bed with the measles; which was not true.

She sent them upstairs;
and I am sorry to say
she told her friends that they
were in bed with the measles;
which was not true.

Quite the contrary;
they were not in bed:
not in the least.

Quite the contrary; they were not in bed: not in the least.
Somehow there were very extraordinary noises over-head.

Somehow there were very
extraordinary noises over-head,
which disturbed the dignity
and repose of the tea party.

And I think that some day
I shall have to make another,
larger, book, to tell you
more about Tom Kitten!

As for the Puddle-Ducks—
they went into a pond.

The clothes all came off directly,
because there were no buttons.

The clothes all came off directly, because there were no buttons.
And Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck, and Jemima and Rebeccah, have been looking for them ever since.

And Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck,
and Jemima and Rebeccah,
have been looking
for them ever since.


THE END