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Marvin The Marvelous Mouse

Marvin Mouse Finds a Magic Lamp Mr. Green owned an antique shop. He sold old lamps and dishes, rugs and paintings -- anything old and valuable. For months he had been bothered by a little gray mouse. On many a morning, when he opened the shop, he would find a rare cup broken, or a hole chewed in a fine lace tablecloth. Once a woman was just about to buy an expensive rug, when the mouse appeared. She screamed and ran out of the store.

Now the dusty old shop was growing dark. Mr. Green was locking up for the night. He patted his new cat on the head. "You get that mouse tonight, Tabby, I've had enough trouble from him."

The cat prowled around the shop, sniffing. She found a mousehole, but there was no sign of the mouse. She sat and watched the hole for a while, but soon she got bored. She curled up on a tabletop and went to sleep.

After a while, the mouse poked his nose out of the hole. He was hungry. Sniffing about, he crept along the floor. There, in the corner, was a bowl of milk that Mr. Green had left for the cat. The little gray mouse climbed up on the rim of the bowl and lapped at the milk inside. That was good! He drank and drank until his belly was full. Then he sat down beside the bowl to wash his face and paws.

The mouse was just smoothing his whiskers, when a tiny sound made him look up. The cat was awake. She was sneaking along the tabletop. And now she was crouched on the edge, ready to spring down at him.

The mouse gave a frightened squeak and leaped across the floor. The cat bounded after him. She was just about to spring again, when the mouse jumped up onto a dusty shelf in a back corner of the shop. There were some old cups and saucers there. At the end of the shelf was an old-fashioned oil lamp. The mouse tried to jump inside the lamp. But he slipped at the top and slid down the outside of it. He was trapped now, and the cat was on the shelf, with her paw out to strike him.

Suddenly a puff of smoke rose from the mouth of the lamp. Larger and larger it grew. The cat jumped back, hissing and spitting. The mouse was even more frightened. He crouched on the shelf, trembling.

A shape began to form in the smoke. It was a genie, with a turban wrapped around his head and a shining jewel on his forehead. "What do you wish, Master?" he said to the mouse.

The mouse just trembled with fear.

"I see you cannot talk," said the genie. "Do you wish to be able to speak, Master?" The mouse trembled so hard that his head nodded up and down. In a flash the genie bent down and touched the tip of his finger to the mouse's head.

Suddenly the mouse was not afraid any more. "Gee, I can talk!" he said. Just then the cat growled at him.

"Shall I kill the cat for you, Master?" the genie asked.

"No, but let's teach her a lesson," said the mouse. "Change her into a mouse for a week. Then she'll learn what it's like to be chased all the time."

The genie waved his arm, and it was done. A little brown mouse squeaked on the floor. It squeezed through the crack under the front door and ran out into the street.

"If you don't need anything more now, Master," said the genie, "I shall go back into the lamp. You can call me out any time by rubbing it." The mouse was so tired that he curled up inside a china teapot on the shelf and went to sleep. He did not wake up until the next morning, when he suddenly felt the teapot rising in the air. A woman was looking at it.

"I don't think this is what I need," she was starting to say. The little mouse yelled out, "Hey! What's going on? Put me down!"

"A talking teapot!" the woman shrieked. "I'll buy it."

As she turned to talk to Mr. Green, the mouse jumped out of the teapot.

The next day the woman came back angry. "This pot doesn't talk."

In the corner the mouse heard her. He scampered over to the lamp and rubbed it. "Quick! Make that teapot talk," he told the genie.

As the woman placed the teapot on the counter, it said, "Please take me back home with you." "Never mind," she told the surprised Mr. Green, as she snatched up the teapot and ran out of the store.

The next day the woman's friends came to the antique shop and bought talking cups and saucers, talking pitchers and talking bowls. The newspaper ran a front page story about the shop with the talking antiques. Hundreds of people came to the shop and bought everything in it -- everything, that is, except the magic lamp. For the mouse had his genie make it invisible. Mr. Green decided to sell the store and retire. He never knew it was the mouse who had made him rich.

The mouse decided to go out into the world to seek his fortune. "I'll call myself Marvin the Marvelous Mouse," he told his genie.








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