"So, Jamie, remember, and don't try to be a man before your time, and let your parents judge for you while you are young; and never believe in any soft white Pussy, with golden eyes, that comes and wants to tempt you to come down and play with her. If a big boy offers to teach you to smoke a cigar, that is Pussy. If a boy wants you to go into a billiard-saloon, that is Pussy. If a boy wants you to learn to drink anything with spirit in it, however sweetened and disguised, remember Pussy is there. And Pussy's claws are long, and Pussy's teeth are strong; and if she gives you one shake in your youth, you will be like a broken-winged robin all your days."
Miss Katy-did sat on the branch of a flowering azalea, in her best suit of fine green and silver, with wings of point-lace from Mother Nature's finest web.
Miss Katy was in the very highest possible spirits, because her gallant cousin, Colonel Katy-did, had looked in to make her a morning visit. It was a fine morning, too, which goes for as much among the Katy-dids as among men and women. It was, in fact, a morning that Miss Katy thought must have been made on purpose for her to enjoy herself in. There had been a patter of rain the night before, which had kept the leaves awake talking to each other till nearly morning; but by dawn the small winds had blown brisk little puffs, and whisked the heavens clear and bright with their tiny wings, as you have seen Susan clear away the cobwebs in your mamma's parlour; and so now there were only left a thousand blinking, burning water-drops, hanging like convex mirrors at the end of each leaf, and Miss Katy admired herself in each one.
"Certainly I am a pretty creature," she said to herself; and when the gallant colonel said something about being dazzled by her beauty, she only tossed her head and took it as quite a matter of course.
"The fact is, my dear colonel," she said, "I am thinking of giving a party, and you must help me to make out the lists."
"My dear, you make me the happiest of Katy-dids."
"Now," said Miss Katy-did, drawing an azalea-leaf towards her, "let us see--whom shall we have? The Fireflies, of course; everybody wants them, they are so brilliant,--a little unsteady, to be sure, but quite in the higher circles."
"Yes, we must have the Fireflies," echoed the colonel.