The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle

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Once upon a time there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little-town. She was a good little girl—only she was always losing her pocket-handkerchiefs!

One day little Lucie came into the farm-yard crying—oh, she did cry so! “I’ve lost my pocket-handkin! Three handkins and a pinny! Have you seen them, Tabby Kitten?”

The Kitten went on washing her white paws; so Lucie asked a speckled hen—

“Sally Henny-penny, have you found three pocket-handkins?”

But the speckled hen ran into a barn, clucking—

“I go barefoot, barefoot, barefoot!”

And then Lucie asked Cock Robin sitting on a twig.

Cock Robin looked sideways at Lucie with his bright black eye, and he flew over a stile and away.

Lucie climbed upon the stile and looked up at the hill behind Little-town—a hill that goes up—up—into the clouds as though it had no top!

And a great way up the hill-side she thought she saw some white things spread upon the grass.

Lucie scrambled up the hill as fast as her stout legs would carry her; she ran along a steep path-way—up and up—until Little-town was right away down below—she could have dropped a pebble down the chimney!

Presently she came to a spring, bubbling out from the hill-side.

Some one had stood a tin can upon a stone to catch the water—but the water was already running over, for the can was no bigger than an egg-cup! And where the sand upon the path was wet—there were foot-marks of a very small person.

Lucie ran on, and on.

The path ended under a big rock. The grass was short and green, and there were clothes—props cut from bracken stems, with lines of plaited rushes, and a heap of tiny clothes pins—but no pocket-handkerchiefs!

“Lily-white and clean, oh!

With little frills between, oh!

Smooth and hot—red rusty spot

Never here be seen, oh!”

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