A certain cat had made the acquaintance of a mouse, and had
said so much to her about the great love and friendship she felt for
her, that at length the mouse agreed that they should live and keep
house together. But we must make a provision for winter, or else we
shall suffer from hunger, said the cat, and you, little mouse,
cannot venture everywhere, or you will be caught in a trap some day.
The good advice was followed, and a pot of fat was bought, but they
did not know where to put it. At length, after much consideration,
the cat said, I know no place where it will be better stored up than
in the church, for no one dares take anything away from there.
We will set it beneath the altar, and not touch it until we are
really in need of it. So the pot was placed in safety, but it was
not long before the cat had a great yearning for it, and said to the
mouse, I want to tell you something, little mouse, my cousin has
brought a little son into the world, and has asked me to be
godmother, he is white with brown spots, and I am to hold him over
the font at the christening. Let me go out to-day, and you look
after the house by yourself. Yes, yes, answered the mouse, by all
means go, and if you get anything very good to eat, think of me, I
should like a drop of sweet red christening wine myself. All this,
however, was untrue, the cat had no cousin, and had not been asked
to be godmother.
She went straight to the church, stole to the pot of fat, began
to lick at it, and licked the top of the fat off. Then she took a
walk upon the roofs of the town, looked out for opportunities, and
then stretched herself in the sun, and licked her lips whenever she
thought of the pot of fat, and not until it was evening did she
return home. Well, here you are again, said the mouse, no doubt you
have had a merry day. All went off well, answered the cat. What name
did they give the child. Top off, said the cat quite coolly. Top
off, cried the mouse, that is a very odd and uncommon name, is it a
usual one in your family.