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“Are you all here?” said the old gray rat, as he looked around.
Do you all choose to go ? Make up your minds at once.”
Yes, yes,” said all in the line; we all wish to go. It is quite plain that it is not safe to stay here.? Just then
then the captain caught sight of Grip—that was the young rat's name. He was not in the line. He was near by on the stairs.
'You did not speak,” said the old rat. “Of course you will come ? ” “I don't know," said Grip.
Don't know! Why, you do not think it safe to stay here, do you ? ” said the old rat. “It has always been the rule with rats to quit a falling house, has it not ?"
“I don't know,” said Grip. “The roof may not come down for some time yet.”
“Well, stay then,” said the old rat, “and it will serve you right if you get hurt.”
“I don't know that I will stay, and I don't know that I will go,” said Grip, with a wise look.
“O well, we can not wait for you to make up your mind,” said the old rat. * Come with us and be safe, or stay where you are and get hurt. Now, rats! Right face !
. March !” And the long line of rats marched out of the mill. They went down the steps one by one, and the young rat looked on.
“I have half a mind to go,” said he, “and yet I don't know. It is warm and snug here, and I shall have the mill all to myself.”
The tail of the last rat was hardly out of sight as he spoke. Grip went near the steps and looked down.
“I will go back to my hole for
I a short time, to make up my mind,” said he.
That night the wind blew harder than ever.
The old mill shook as if it would surely fall. Grip began to be afraid. It was the first time he had felt any fear. “I don't know,” said he,
but that I would better go, too. But I will wait a little while."
Then the wind blew harder and harder. Grip started to leave the mill. Before he could get out, down it came with a great crash.
The next day some men came to look at the fallen mill. They thought it strange to see no rats.
. But at last, as one man moved a great pile of boards, he saw a young rat, quite dead.
He was half in, and half out of
his hole. It seemed as if he had not quite made up his mind whether to stay in or go out.
Don't you think Grip ought to have made up his mind more quickly?
Whar did the old rats make up their minds to do?
Let pupils rule their slates into squares to correspond to
the diagram below, and then reproduce the drawing.