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74   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

Lord Beetle, Mr. Ant, Sir Butterfly, Miss Dragonfly, Mr. Bee, Mr. Wasp, Mr. Hornet, Madame Maybug, Miss Lady Bird, and a number of others. Messrs. Gloworm and Firefly agreed to provide lamps as the party was to be had at night. Mr. M., by a great deal of exertion, got the provisions together in time, and Miss M. did the same with the furniture, while Mrs. M. superintended generally, and was a great bother.

Water Bug & Co. conveyed everything to Shady Nook, and so at the appointed time everything was ready, and the whole family, in their best ball dresses, waited for the visitors.

The fisrt visitor to arrive was Lady Maybug. "Stupid old thing; always first," muttered Mrs. M., and then aloud, "How charming it is to see you so prompt, Mrs. Maybug; I can always rely on your being here in time."

"Yes Ma'am, oh law ! but it is so hot-oh law ! and the carriage, oh law ! almost broke down; oh law ! I did really think I never should get here-oh law !" and Mrs. Maybug threw herself on the sofa; but the sofa unfortunately had one weak leg, and as Mrs. Maybug was no light weight, over she went. While Mrs. M. (inwardly swearing if ever a mouse swore) hastened to her assistance, and in the midst of the confusion caused by this accident, Tommy Cricket (who had been hired for waiter and dressed in red trousers accordingly) threw open the door and announced in a shrill pipe, "Nibble Squeak & Co., Mum," then hastily correcting himself, as he received a dagger like glance from Mrs. M., "Mr. Nibble and Mr. Squeak, Ma'am," and precipitately retreated through the door. Meanwhile the unfortunate Messrs. Nibble and Squeak, who while trying to look easy in their new clothes, had luckily not heard the introduction, were doing their best to bow gracefully to Miss Maybug and Miss Mouse, the respective mamas of these young ladies having pushed them rapidly forward as each of the ladies was trying to get up a match between the rich Mr. Squeak and her daughter, although Miss M. preferred Mr. Woodmouse and Miss Maybug, Mr. Hornet. In the next few minutes the company came pouring in (among them Mr. Woodmouse, accompanying Miss Katydid, at which sight Miss M. turned green with envy), and after a very short period the party was called in to dinner, for the cook had boiled the hickory nuts too long and they had to be sent up immediately or they would be spoiled. Mrs. M. displayed great generalship in the arrangement of the people, Mr. Squeak taking in Miss M., Mr. Hornet, Miss Maybug, and Mr. Woodmouse, Miss

The Dresden Literary American Club 75

Katydid. But now Mr. M. had invited one person too many for the plates, and so Mr. M. had to do without one. At first this was not noticed, as each person was seeing who could get the most to eat, with the exception of those who were love-making, but after a while, Sir Lizard, (a great swell and a very high liver) turned round and remarked, "Ee-aw, I say, Mr. M., why don't you take something more to eat?" "Mr. M. is not at all hungry tonight, are you my dear?" put in Mrs. M. smiling at Sir Lizard, and frowning at Mr. M. "Not at all, not at all," replied the latter hastily. Sir Lizard seemed disposed to continue the subject, but Mr. Moth, (a very scientific gentleman) made a diversion by saying, "Have you seen my work on ` Various Antenae' ? In it I demonstrated clearly the superiority of feathered to knobbed Antenae and"-"Excuse me, Sir," interrupted Sir Butterfly, "but you surely don't mean to say-"

"Excuse me, if you please," replied Mr. Moth sharply, "but I do mean it, and if you read my work, you will perceive that the rays of feather-like particles on the trunk of the Antenae deriving from the center in straight or curved lines generally"-at this moment Mr. Moth luckily choked himself and seizing the lucky instant, Mrs. M. rang for the desert.

There was a sort of struggling noise in the pantry, but that was the only answer. A second ring, no answer. A third ring; and Mrs. M. rose in majestic wrath, and in dashed the unlucky Tommy Cricket with the cheese, but alas, while half way in the room, the beautiful new red trousers came down, and Tommy and cheese rolled straight into Miss Dragon Fly who fainted without any unnecessary delay, while the noise of Tommy's howls made the room ring. There was great confusion immediately, and while Tommy was being kicked out of the room, and while Lord Beetle was emptying a bottle of rare rosap over Miss Dragon Fly, in mistake for water, Mrs. M. gave a glance at Mr. M., which made him quake in his shoes, and said in a low voice, "Provoking thing 1 now you see the good of no suspenders" -"But my dear, you told me not to"-began Mr. M., but was interrupted by Mrs. M. "Don't speak to me, you-" but here Miss Katydid's little sister struck in on a sharp squeak. "Katy kissed Mr. Woodmouse!" "Katy didn't," returned her brother. "Katy did," "Katy didn't," "Katy did," "Katy didn't." All eyes were now turned on the crimsoning Miss Katydid, but she was unexpectedly saved by the lamps suddenly commencing to burn blue !

"There, Mr. M.! Now you see what you have done!" said the lady of the house, sternly.

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