Master Tom's bedroom
Master Tom has got out of the wrong side of his bed. He has not dressed himself properly ; his hair looks as if it had been brushed with a broom ; and he has not half washed his face. His mamma tells him to put away his things ; and how does he do it ? Why, he throws a boot on the bed, and his brush on the ground ; he knocks the chairs over, and turns everything topsy-turvy. Tom is a torment. He does not care for anybody ; nothing pleases him ; and he has no great cause to be pleased with himself.
The pigeons' bath
As Master Tom does not choose to dress himself properly, he does not like to see anybody else do so. Pigeons have no need to be cleaner than he. The good pigeons are taking their morning bath in some nice fresh water ; they are doing quite right, and are very happy. Master Tom cannot bear to see them, and a piece of mischief comes into his head.
Poor pigeons !
Whenever a naughty idea comes into Tom's head, he soon puts it into practive. He gives the poor pigeons' bath a kick, and over it goes ; and the poor pigeons fly away, frightened out of their wits. What a nice funny thing to have done ! No wonder he laughs about it. If I were behind him I know who would pull his ears for him. How ugly Master Tom's face looks when he has been doing something naughty ! When people are pleased because they have hurt or vexed somebody they always look ugly.
Wise pigeons !
Master Tom is served out : he is left all alone. The pigeons are safe now from his naughty tricks. He tries to persuade them to come back, and throws them some corn ; but they will not come. They will not trust Master Tom, and they are quite right. Dumb creatures know their enemies very well, and Master Tom tries in vain to make them believe that he is their friend.
Pussy washing herself.
Master Tom looks about for a new victim, and soon finds one. Pussy is a clean creature and gives herself a good wash every morning. Is not this like telling Master Tom that he ought to do so too ? So Master Tom goes very quietly up to Pussy, and lifts up his foot – What is he going to do ?
Poor Pussy flies like a pigeon.
Oh, the naughty, naughty boy ! How he must have hurt poor Pussy ! And the cruel boy is delighted with the effect of his kick. It is the finest kick he has ever given. Pussy has gone up almost as high as the pigeons. Tom thinks Pussy looks very funny as she flies like that through the air.
Pussy is not a pigeon.
Master Tom does not laugh long : the fun is soon over. Pussy is not a pigeon. If you stroke her she purrs, but if you hurt her she can pay you off. She pays Master Tom for his kick with some good scratches on his face. He will think twice before he touches Puss again.
Turk is thirsty.
Master Tom has been rather frightened. He thought he should have had his eyes scratched out ; but he is not cured of his tricks yet. He will take care how he touches a cat again ; but dogs are such good creatures, you may tease them as much as you like. Armed with a sharp-pointed stick, Master Tom discovers a new game for himself and a new way of teasing somebody else. Turk is thirsty ; so every time he goes to the water to drink, Tom thinks it good fun to prick his nose with the point of his stick.
Tom's second fright.
Turk lets him do so at first. He is so strong that he can afford to be patient. At last, however, he gets angry, and flies at Tom. For a minute Tom thought he should be eaten alive. If he had not been chained, Turk certainly would have been avenged. What a fine fright he had ! It is not always pleasant to be a teaze.
Two ugly faces.
However, Master Tom, as he has escaped with nothing worse than a fright, goes on in the same way. What two ugly faces those are, Master Tom's and that great big beast's ! He is threatening him with a stone. Master Tom's enemy is not a pleasant-looking creature. If I were in Tom's place, I should think twice before I attacked him.
A good lesson.
It is too late. Master Tom did not stop to think, and he is well paid out. Teasing Tom will know for the future that pigs (we must call people by their names) do not like to have stones thrown at them. The pig is as angry as he can be, and shows his anger in a way that is not to be mistaken. I cannot say the pig is wrong. However badly Master Tom's attack upon his enemy may have turned out, he has well deserved it. If the battle ends in his defeat, so much the better, and nobody will complain.
Poor Master Tom !
The animal, fortunately, does not follow up his victory. Master Tom beats a retreat ; but he is not able to excute the manœuvre as quickly as he would wish, for he is very much hurt, and it is easy to see that he cannot walk very quickly.
The dressing was very painful.
Master Tom is obliged to keep his room. The dressing of the wound was very painful, and he does not know how to move. They say the place is in a bad state, and much swelled. He is confined to his room for a whole fortnight, and he has plenty of time to think seriously. Let us hope that he may profit by the lesson.
A wonderful change.
Mr. Pig (we must be polite to everybody) has made a marvellous cure – a proof that everybody is of some use in the world. Thanks to the teaching of this excellent tutor, Master Tom has become an altered character. What a wonderful change both within and without ! Master Tom has begun to wash himself more carefully !
Brush and comb.
And look how he combs his hair ! It is charming to see – you might count the hairs on his head. And he does not throw his brush on the ground now. And he is actually looking at himself in a glass. I do believe he is trying to make his own parting : and so much the better, for when a little boy begins to be neat and orderly, his thoughts must be getting into order too.
Nobody would know him again.
You would not know Master Tom. Can this nice little boy, so neatly dressed, who sets to work at his lessons without being told – can it be that same horrid little troublesome Tom, odious to man and beast ? Yes ! The very same boy ! But oh, how different !