Malmo the Wounded Rat
A poor man saw, by the roadside, a large white rat. It seemed to be dead. Moving it gently he found it was alive, but had a broken leg. He took it up and carried it to his lonely home. He bound up the bruised leg, fed the poor creature, and soon it was quite well.
Sam Tills trained the rat to gentle ways, and taught it many little tricks. Malmo was the only company Sam had. He worked in a cotton mill, and took Malmo with him. He rode in his master’s coat-pocket. It looked droll to see his white head peeping out.
Sundays both went to dine with Sam’s sister. Malmo’s funny ways made everybody laugh. When Sam said, “Malmo, go sit in my hat,” he went at once. He curled himself up in it, and nodded off to sleep.
When his master said, “Malmo, we’re going now; slip in,” the droll pet jumped from the hat, ran up to his pocket-nest, said good-by in his own fashion, and was ready to start. Evenings, when Sam was reading or singing from his mother’s hymn-book, Malmo had a nap on his master’s head. When it was time to go to bed Sam stroked Malmo’s soft fur. The rat rubbed himself against his master’s hand. It was their good-night to each other. Then Malmo crept into his basket, and the candle was blown out. Soon both were fast asleep.