I have no idea why this is out of print. It is in The Tall Book of Make-Believe published in 1950. Jack LOOOVES Bad Mousie.
This book also has a bunch of other awesome stories. The Very Mischief by Lesley Frost. Susan’s Bears by Mildred Lawrence and the Pear Tree by E. Elizabeth Longwell. ther is a list on this page.
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Donnica who lived with her mother and a little black mouse. Mousie was very bad because no one had taught him to be good.
He cut big holes in the bedspread with Donnica’s little scissors.
He threw all of Donnica’s clean socks into the bathtub when it had water in it.
He made little mud tracks all over the rug when he came in.
Donnica’s mother said, “Mousie, don’t you know that nobody loves a bad mouse? That’s why we don’t want you to stay here with us anymore.” And she took her broom and swept him out of the house. “Now, don’t you come back until you learn to be a good ouse,” she called after him. Then she closed the door and locked it.
But bad Mousie waited until dark. Then he crawled under the gate and crept through a crack in the wall. And next morning, there he was again!
Donnica was glad to see him, but Mousie was still bad.
He pulled the top off the powder can and spilled powder all over the rug.
He tangled Donnica’s hair and scattered her ribbons on the floor.
He tipped over things not he breakfast table and spilled cocoa, and orange juice, and lots and lots of milk.
This made Donnica’s mother very angry. “Bad Mousie,” she said, “I’m going to put you in a box and close it tight and throw it in my washtub full fo water.” And she did.
But the box was only glued together, and the water softened the glue and the box fell apart. So, Mousie swam up to the top and scrambled out. Then he shook the water out of his ears and he climbed the cellar stairs and squeezed under the door. And there he was again! And Donnica was glad to see him.
The next day Mousie was as bad as ever.
He pulled all the books out of the shelves and tore out some of the pages.
He unrolled yards and yards of paper in the bathroom.
He spilled green ink all over the inside of a desk drawer.
Now Donnica’s mother was very, very angry. She said, “Mousie, you are so very bad that I shall feed you to the night owl!” o she took him and tied him with three white strings to the fence in the back yard. Then she put a yellow ribbon around his neck, so that the owl could see him better in the dark and fly down and gobble him up.
But before the stars came out, the mouse wriggled and tugged and finally got his feet loose. Then he untangled his tail, and nibbled through the strings around his tummy. So he was free again, and he ran and hid all night. The owl couldn’t find him.
Next morning he came back to the house and climbed in at an open window. And there he was again! And Donnica was glad to see him.
But Mousie was still bad!
The next time Donnica’s mother was away at the store, he took purple crayon and scribbled all over the yellow wallpaper.
Then he dumped all the buttons out of the button box.
He found a bottle of shoe polish, and he painted the floor white.
When Donnica’s mother came home and found the awful mess he had made, she grabbed him by his little string tail. Then she pressed her lips together hard, and she thought and thought of a way to get rid of him. At last she decided to let the wind blow him away.
So she got her oldest umbrella and fastened Mousie to the handle with an old belt. Then she carried him up to the roof and opened the umbrella, so that the wind could blow him off, right into the sky. The little mouse kicked and squeaked, but it did him no good, for soon the umbrella was sailing up, up over the tree tops. And Mousie was fastened to it.
After a while the umbrella drifted gently down onto a little ink cloud. Mousie managed to get himself unbuckled, and he let the big umbrella blow away. Then he lay down on the soft, warm cloud to rest. He was really very lonely and wished that he could go home to Donnica and her mother and live there with them. “Maybe I could leaner to be good,” he thought.
All of a sudden it began to get cold and th cloud began to drip. Drip, drip; drop, drop; dripple, droplet; the cloud was changing into rain. Mousie was getting wetter and wetter. Soon there was no cloud to lie on, and down he tumbled with the raindrops. Down, down, until he splashed into a muddy puddle.
Mousie was cold and wet and very unhappy. He had to swim and wade to get out of the big puddle. Then he ran as fast as he could to Donnica’s house. But before he crept under the door, guess what he did! He wiped his muddy little feet on the doormat.
And when Donnica looked around, there he was again! “Donnica,” said the mouse, “could you teach me to be a good mouse? I want to stay here with you where it is warm and cozy and I can be your friend.”
“I’ll try to teach you,” said Donnica.
“And I’ll try to be good, ” said the mouse.
So Donnica taught him how to begin to be good.
She showed him what not to touch.
She told him to cutpaper dolls, instead of bedspreads, with her little scissors.
She taught him how to wipe up the milk he spilled.
She helped him pick up books and put buttons away in there boxes.
Then she kissed him to help him get good faster.
When Donnica’s mother came home from the store, she certainly was surprised, for there was Mousie helping Donnica set the table for lunch.
“Mommie, I’m teaching him to be a good mouse,” said Donnica, “and Mousie is trying very, very hard. Please let him stay.”
So Donnica’s mother was proud of them both, and she told Mousie that she, too, would help him learn to be good. Then she hugged Donnica and the mouse, and they all join hands and danced round and round.
Next day Mousie brought in the morning newspaper and the mail.
He wiped all the forks and spoons, and put away the pans after breakfast.
And he spread the wet tea-towels out on the grass too bleach in the sun.
So Mousie became a good mouse, and they all lived cozily together again.
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