TOMMY Grimes was sometimes a good boy and sometimes a bad boy, and when he was a bad boy, his mother often said to him:
"Now Tommy, be a good boy and please don't go out of the street, 1 or Mr Miacca will catch you and take you away."
But one day Tommy was a very bad boy and he went out of the street. He turned the corner, and there was Mr Miacca! Mr Miacca caught him and popped him into his bag, upside down, 2 and carried him away to his house. When Mr Miacca came home, he pulled Tommy out of the bag and felt his arms and legs. 3
"You're not fat enough," he said, "but you're all I've got for supper, so I'll eat you. But, oh dear, I haven't any herbs to put in the water, and you'll not be tasty without herbs. I'll call my wife." He called to Mrs Miacca, "Sally, come here for a minute."
Mrs Miacca came in from the next room and said:
"What do you want, my dear?"
"Oh, here's a little boy I've brought home for supper," said Mr Miacca, "but I've forgotten the herbs. I'll just go out and fetch them while you look after him for me."
"All right, my love," said Mrs Miacca.
Tommy Grimes looked at Mrs Miacca and asked:
"Does Mr Miassa always have little boys for supper?"
"Mostly, my dear, if the little boys are bad enough and he can catch them," said Mrs Miacca.
"Don't you have anything else except boys?" asked Tommy. "Don't you ever have any pudding?"
"Ah, I love pudding," said Mrs Miacca, "but I don't often get any."
"My mother is making a pudding today," said Tommy Grimes, "and I'm sure she'll give you some if I ask her. Shall I run home and get some?"
"That's a kind boy," said Mrs Miacca, "only don't be too long away and be sure to be back before supper-time." 4
So Tommy ran off and soon was safe at home. He was very glad that he had run away from Mr Miacca. For many days he was as good as could be, and never went round the corner of the street.
But Tommy Grimes couldn't always be good, and one day he went round the corner of the street again. Mr Miacca caught him again and popped him into his bag, upside down.
When Mr Miacca got home, he pulled Tommy out of the bag. "I remember you," said Mr Miacca. "You're the little boy who played a trick on me 5 and my wife. You left us without any supper. Well, you will not do it again. I'll keep an eye on you myself. 6 Creep under the sofa and I'll sit on it, and watch the pot till it boils."
So poor Tommy Grimes crept under the sofa and Mr Miacca sat on it and watched the pot till it boiled. They waited and waited and waited, Mr Miacca on the sofa and Tommy under it, but still the pot didn't boil. At last Mr Miacca got tired of waiting, 7 and he said:
"Here, you under the sofa. I'm not going to wait any longer. 8 Put out your leg, and I'll see that you don't run away."
But Tommy guessed what Mr Miacca was going to do, and he took the leg of the sofa, which was loose, 9 and stuck it out. Mr Miacca took an axe, chopped the leg off and threw it in the pot. Then he went into the next room to look for Mrs Miacca. While he was there, Tommy crept from under the sofa and ran out of the door and straight home.
This time Tommy had had such a fright that he was always a good boy after it. He never went round the corner again till he was old enough to go alone.
1 don't go out of the street — зд. не уходи никуда с нашей улицы
2 upside down — вниз головой
3 felt his arms and legs — ощупал ему руки и ноги
4 be sure to be back before supper-time — (ты) должен вернуться до ужина
5 who played a trick on me — который сыграл со мной шутку (обманул меня)
6 I'll keep an eye on you myself.— Я сам за тобой послежу.
7 got tired of waiting — надоело ждать
8 to wait any longer — больше ждать
9 took the leg of the sofa, which was loose — взял ножку дивана, которая слабо держалась (шаталась)Еще English Folk Tales