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Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:17 am

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Marco Puss, the cat famous explorer, arrived in port one day. It was all new to him - the noise and bustle, the interesting smells, the cranes, the ship.

'A house on the water, "he thought. "How exciting!" Tail in the air, he walked the ramp. When he was halfway up he heard a scream.

"Whose cat is that? Get him off the ship! '

Marco was booted off the ship. His dignity was hurt.

"I will one way or another on that ship or my name is Marco Puss!" He vowed.

The stowaway, Stories for children: a large basket 59_1.jpg lay nearby, along with other luggage. Creeping in, Marco wound covered. Soon a man came along and grabbed the basket. Marco was included in the aisle and a ladder till they reached the ship galley. There was the basket to put down.

"Here you are, Cook," said a voice. "The food-stuff you ordered."

Marco tense, and waited. The cover was lifted. He caught a glimpse of the cook chubby face and gaze at him as he jumped and ran through the doorway. Behind him came cries as others joined the cook in the pursuit. The sound brought captain on the scene.

"What about all this noise?" He asked angrily. Cook! Why are you walking around with a rolling pin? '

Cook explained, his voice is indignant in fits and starts. "It was in the basket, sir! A dirty black cat! It struck me! '

Dirty indeed! " Smoked Marco in his hideout, causing his coat quick lick.

"We can not wait to find him," said Captain. 'All hands on their posts. If you meet the cat, just throw it overboard. '

Cook, a kind of heart, felt so sorry he made a fuss. "Let him, Captain," he said. They are good mice catchers, cats, and if there is one thing I'm terrified of, it's mice! "

And a sailor entered timidly, "It is good to a cat on board, sir. They bring happiness. '

"Pah!" Said Captain. "Not a black cat. Black cats bring bad luck and I will not always one on my ship. If you find him, drown him! '

How Marco trembled at the words! His fur stood on end and he hardly dared to breathe! "What should I do? "He thought desperately." I'm safe enough here for the moment, but sooner or later I'll have to venture out for food. Thank God, I had a good nutrition in the basket. "

There was a slight noise behind him. Turning quickly, he pounced. "Ah, a rat!" He cried, looked at the crouching beast. "I do not eat rats in general, but I think you can come in handy on a day really hungry."

The stowaway, Stories for Children: 59_2.jpg "Please, sir," it squeaked, "I am a Miss!"

Suddenly a great idea hit Marco. His blue eyes shone. "You would not want that I swallow now, would you, Miss Mouse?" He asked menacingly.

"Oh no, sir!" Cried the mouse, fervently.

Setting the mouse comfortably between his legs, Marco explained, "I'll let you go, Mousie - but first you must promise to do me a small favor. "

"Everything, sir, nothing!" Promised the mouse.

"All right, listen up ..."

Just before dinner time that night, Cook, a proud beam on his face, was a huge cake from the oven, when suddenly something lines between his feet.

‘A mouse!’ he screamed, dropping the pie all over the floor. ‘A mouse in my kitchen! Help! Help!’

Captain came hurrying into the galley, followed by the stewards. He found Cook standing on top of the table, shrieking over and over again. ‘Mouse! Help! I knew that cat should have been allowed to run free,’ he sobbed hysterically. ‘It would have caught the nasty creature.’

The Stowaway, Stories for kids: 59_3.jpg ‘Nonsense!’ said Captain. ‘We do not need a cat to catch a mouse. Set the traps!’

In their hiding place, Marco shook with laughter. ‘Well done, little mouse!’ he said. ‘Tomorrow at lunchtime, I’ll send you out again. Now listen. They are going to set cheese traps for you. You are not to go near the cheese, do you hear?’

The mouse looked sulky. ‘I like cheese,’ she said crossly.

‘Very well, then. I will eat you,’ said Marco, baring his teeth. ‘For if you go near the trap they’ll get you and you’ll be killed anyway!’

The mouse backed away hurriedly. ‘I won’t go near the trap. I promise!’ she squeaked.

The next morning Cook was mixing a cake when suddenly the mouse ran across the table. She was gone in a trice, but not before Cook had dropped the box of baking powder into the bowl. When the cake was put in the oven it swelled and swelled and ran all over the place. How Cook cried!

Captain was angry and worried.

"This won’t do, Cook,’ he scolded. ‘For two days running, the meals have been spoilt. The passengers are complaining.’

The Stowaway, Stories for kids: 59_4.jpg The next day was even worse. Cook became so upset at the frequent appearance of the mouse that he put salt instead of sugar in the pudding, and coffee instead of chocolate.

The passengers were so angry that they shouted at Captain: ‘Never again will we travel on your ship!’

The day of the great ship dinner arrived and still the traps remained empty.

‘I will not cook dinner!’ sobbed Cook. ‘I know that mouse will come!’

‘Don’t be silly, Cook,’ Captain said sternly. ‘You have to prepare something grand to calm the passengers down. But I’ll tell you what… I’ll bring along some sailors armed with sticks who’ll keep a watch here and catch that mouse if it appears. You go ahead with your cooking.’

‘You heard that?’ whispered Mousie, terrified. ‘They’ll be waiting for me with sticks!’

‘Then, now’s the time to go,’ decided Marco,’ while cook is setting out the ingredients and Captain is collecting his men.’

Swiftly the mouse moved. Like lightning it streaked through the door, ran up the leg of a table and grabbed a piece of toast. Captain arrived in the doorway in time to see the mouse jump on Cook’s neck as he was bending down into a shelf. With a shout of ‘Hoi!’ Captain rushed forward, but the mouse had reached the hatchway safely.

Poor Cook leapt up with a scream and banged his head smartly on the edge of the cupboard. What a commotion there was!

The news went around swiftly. ‘The mouse has stolen from right under Captain’s nose and used Cook’s neck as a landing stage!’

‘It’s no ordinary mouse,’ whispered the sailors fearfully.

‘Get me off the ship,’ whimpered Cook. ‘Put out a lifeboat! I’m not staying a moment longer. The mouse is out to get me, I know!’

And he passed a trembling hand over his neck.

The Stowaway, Stories for kids: 59_5.jpg It was at that moment that Marco decided to make his entrance. Everyone stared in amazement as the cat stalked in, tail waving gently in the air, haughty and unafraid.

‘It’s the stowaway!’ went up a whisper.

‘Marco sniffed at the ground with the air of a great detective. ‘Just like Sherlock Holmes,’ whispered someone in admiration.

Nose to the ground, Marco went through the hatchway, following the route that Mousie had taken. Ten minutes later he returned and laid a piece of toast at Cook’s feet. Then, sitting down, he began to wash his face as though he had just had a most satisfying meal.

‘He’s caught it! He’s caught the mouse!’ cried Cook, hugging Marco.

‘Caught it and ate it, looks like,’ said a sailor.

‘Well, Captain,’ said a cheeky sailor. ‘Shall I take it now and throw it overboard?’

The Stowaway, Stories for kids: 59_6.jpg Captain looked ashamed. ‘Let it stay,’ he said gruffly, bending down and stroking Marco. ‘And see that it’s well looked after for the rest of the journey!’

‘Never fear, Captain,’ said Cook. ‘Three good meals a day it’ll get, cooked and served by my own hands!’

Later that night, Marco visited the hiding place he no longer needed. A small creature came out of the shadows and eagerly accepted the piece of cheese Marco had brought for her. Then she rubbed herself against his leg.

‘So you’re no longer afraid of me, are you, Mousie?’ said Marco.

The mouse looked at him cheekily. ‘No, if you please, Mr. Puss. For if you fall out with Cook or Captain, you’ll be needing me again!’

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