Tomorrow (Aug. 15) is the birthday of E. Nesbit, writer of delightful children’s stories, born 1858.
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I FOUND a starving cat in the street:
It cried for food and a place by the fire.
I carried it home, and I strove to meet
The claims of its desire.
And since its desire was a little fish,
A little hay and a little milk,
I gave it cream in a silver dish
And a basket lined with silk.
And when we came to the grateful pause
When it should have fawned on the hand that fed,
It turned to a devil all teeth and claws,
Scratched me and bit me and fled.
To pay for the fish and the milk and the hay
With a purr had been an easy task:
But its hate and my blood were required to pay
For the gifts that it did not ask.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com