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|Queer Little Folks||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
Miss Katy-Did and Miss Cricket
|Page 2 of 4||
"The Bees are a worthy family," said the colonel.
"Worthy enough, but dreadfully humdrum," said Miss Katy. "They never talk about anything but honey and housekeeping; still, they are a class of people one cannot neglect."
"Well, then, there are the Bumble-Bees."
"Oh, I dote on them! General Bumble is one of the most dashing, brilliant fellows of the day."
"I think he is shockingly corpulent," said Colonel Katy-did, not at all pleased to hear him praised; "don't you?"
"I don't know but he IS a little stout," said Miss Katy; "but so distinguished and elegant in his manners--something quite martial and breezy about him."
"Well, if you invite the Bumble-Bees, you must have the Hornets."
"Those spiteful Hornets! I detest them!"
"Nevertheless, dear Miss Katy, one does not like to offend the Hornets."
"No, one can't. There are those five Misses Hornet--dreadful old maids!--as full of spite as they can live. You may be sure they will every one come, and be looking about to make spiteful remarks. Put down the Hornets, though."
"How about the Mosquitoes!" said the colonel.
"Those horrid Mosquitoes--they are dreadfully plebeian! Can't one cut them?"
"Well dear Miss Katy," said the colonel, "if you ask my candid opinion as a friend, I should say not. There's young Mosquito, who graduated last year, has gone into literature, and is connected with some of our leading papers, and they say he carries the sharpest pen of all the writers. It won't do to offend him."
"And so I suppose we must have his old aunts, and all six of his sisters, and all his dreadfully common relations."
"It is a pity," said the colonel; "but one must pay one's tax to society."
Just at this moment the conference was interrupted by a visitor, Miss Keziah Cricket, who came in with her work-bag on her arm to ask a subscription for a poor family of Ants who had just had their house hoed up in clearing the garden-walks.
"How stupid of them," said Katy, "not to know better than to put their house in the garden-walk; that's just like those Ants."
"Well, they are in great trouble; all their stores destroyed, and their father killed--cut quite in two by a hoe."
"How very shocking! I don't like to hear of such disagreeable things; it affects my nerves terribly. Well, I'm sure I haven't anything to give. Mamma said yesterday she was sure she didn't know how our bills were to be paid; and there's my green satin with point-lace yet to come home." And Miss Katy-did shrugged her shoulders and affected to be very busy with Colonel Katy-did, in just the way that young ladies sometimes do when they wish to signify to visitors that they had better leave.
Little Miss Cricket perceived how the case stood, and so hopped briskly off, without giving herself even time to be offended. "Poor extravagant little thing!" said she to herself, "it was hardly worth while to ask her."
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|Queer Little Folks
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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