books



previous page: Knowledge For The People Or, The Plain Why And Because | by John Timbs
  
page up: Animal Books
  
next page: Stories of Animal Sagacity | by William Henry Giles Kingston

Kittens: A Family Chronicle | by Svend Fleuron



Those who have been content to regard the cat merely, aesthetically, as a household ornament, economically, as a mouse-killer, or fantastically, as an adjunct of witchcraft, will doubtless read this book with some surprise. For Svend Fleuron has imagined (or observed) a cat more or less cut off from relationship with men, bringing up her kittens in the fields, against all the odds that any wild animal, surrounded by the destructive terrors of nature, has to face. If this novel were a true picture of human life, it would show, relentlessly and bitterly, how nature overcame the mother and her children. As, however, it is a picture of cat life, the end is a happy one...

TitleKittens: A Family Chronicle
AuthorSvend Fleuron
PublisherNew York: Alfred A. Knopf
Year1922
Copyright1920 Svend Fleuron, 1922 Alfred A. Knopf
Translated byDavid Pritchard (from Danish)

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

GRIM: The Story of a Pike

Illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop

"WILL surely become an animal classic

in the same class as Black Beauty, the

Jungle Books and the stones of Ernest Thompson

Seton."                                  —The Baltimore Sun.

"Grim is delightful."

                                  — New York Globe.

$2.00 net at all bookshops

NEW YORK: ALFRED A. KNOPF

Kittens : A Family Chronicle

Translated from the Danish of

Svend Fleuron

by David Pritchard

Foreword by Carl Van Vechten

New York Mcmxxii

Alfred • A • Knopf

COPYRIGHT. 1920, BY SVEND FLEURON

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY

ALFRED A. KNOPF, Inc.

Published, January, 1922

Original Title: Killingerne : en Familiekrenike

Set up and printed by the Vail-Ballou Co., Binghamton, N. Y. Paper furnished by W. F. Etherington & Co., New York, N. Y. Bound by the H. Wolff Estate, New York, N. Y.

MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

"The other farm cats' kittens were born in barn and loft and were drowned litter after litter—but she would see that her kittens grew to be cats!"

-Foreword
Those who have been content to regard the cat merely, aesthetically, as a household ornament, economically, as a mouse-killer, or fantastically, as an adjunct ...
-Chapter One: Grey Puss
THE May moon is still shining white and round in the sky; but eastward beyond the hills, silhouetting a farmhouse roof, the first faint light of dawn tinges ...
-The Willow Stumps
At the farthest end of the hedge loom three ancient willow stumps, like monster mushrooms springing from the ground. For more than a century they have been ...
-The Kittens
A shadowy bundle at the bottom of the bole comes to life: human eyes would have taken it for a number of mouldering sausages lying among moss and touchwood.
-Grey Puss And Her Past
She had been the children's kitten; had been petted and played with and had free run of the living-rooms. She could never forget those wonderful days and the ...
-Chapter Two: The Blind See
On the whole, the babies had grown. True, their coats were not quite in order, for the fur still stuck out patchily all over their bodies; but the hair was ...
-The Father
One afternoon very early in spring a small, snow-white he-cat came strolling carelessly along the road. His ears were thrust forward, betraying his interest in ...
-The Piebald Devil
Had she reason to doubt him? He was chock-full of lust and vice, and great in merit as in fault; nevertheless had she actual proof for doubting him? One night ...
-The Rescue Of Tiny
Grey Puss' milk tasted sour for a whole day following the adventure; she was frightfully restless and upset Several of the young ones had wounds and had to be ...
-The Flight From The Willow
Truly that morning the kittens had trembled in the shadow of death! And Grey Puss always regarded the he-cat as the first betrayer, the cause of all her ...
-Chapter Three: The Burial-Mound
SHE came to a mound which rose, peaceful and untrodden, in the middle of the field. On every side of it corn was growing, but the mound itself was green with ...
-Life In The Burial-Mound
The fugitive little mother-cat had brought her kittens under cover just in time. That night a storm broke loose and thunder crashed incessantly, accompanying ...
-The First Mouse
Several weeks pass happily. . . . The corn round the burial-mound ripens, and all sorts of grasses compete to lengthen its luxuriant green covering. The stones ...
-The Thief
One day about noon she is skirmishing in the neighbourhood of the farm. She lies hidden in the grass, her head in the air, keeping sharp look out for booty. In ...
-Drown The Brute
Chicken after chicken kept vanishing from the farmyard . . . mysteriously . . . without trace. The farmer's precious racing-pigeons also disappeared, stolen, ...
-A Great Reception
Grey Puss went straight home to her kittens, and that by the main road. No sneaking along the ditches or crawling through the furrows, as so often before when ...
-Chapter Four: The Trickster
ON the top of the mound the kittens are playing, in and out among the old tombstones. The sun has risen. It shines in long, golden stripes on the stones and ...
-The Lid Of The Well
As soon as the after-dinner siesta was at an end, Grey Puss, contrary to custom, called her kittens together with soft, alluring miauws, and took them for the ...
-The Dragon-Fly
A red-gold beam of light came from heaven, poured over the landscape through a mighty window in the clouds, and tinged with mauve the heavy well-lid's brittle ...
-The Old Crow
Thus continued week after week the happy family life on the mound. Still no sign of any danger from without. The corn is now so tall that no human would think ...
-Chapter Five: Big-Kitten
THICK-SET and sturdy, with short tail, strong legs, and a back which merged smoothly into a plump, round stomach; big, attentive eyes with intelligence and ...
-Black-Kitten
This was a fellow to be handled carefully! He returned snarl and spit for a kind word and he never hit softly on the nose, but scratched so that it hurt. He ...
-Miauw-Miauw—Miauw-Miauw
Black made one of his first expeditions at the time when the wheat was just high enough to hide him. He sauntered defiantly through it, caring not a jot ...
-Grey-Kitten
Such a short-legged little cat was surely never seen before! She seemed rather to crawl and glide over the ground than to walk. She had inherited her mother's ...
-Chapter Six: White-Kitten
WHEN the wind brought word of human beings on the field-path, the kittens always stopped their play. Grey Puss had warned them in their earliest days to beware ...
-Tiny
Tiny was, neither in appearance nor reality, a Hercules, being thin and stunted, with a large head and big, intelligent eyes. For the most part he lay still ...
-Red-Kitten
Whatever doubt there may have been as to Tiny's being a sly puss, it was quite certain that Red-kitten was a deceitful hussy! Her coat alone stamped her as a ...
-The Great Eating-House
During the long, still evenings sounds could always be heard far away in the huge stone-heap where most of the tracks found by Red sooner or later ended. Often ...
-Chapter Seven: Box
BOX was a mixture of every possible race of dog. His head was pointed, but his ears, nevertheless, long and drooping, resembling those of a Gordon setter. His ...
-Cats Of All Colours
Among the wheat, which is now almost ripe, flame the poppy-torches . . . the blue-stalked corn is so thickly massed that Grey Puss disappears completely in its ...
-The Life-Saving Chair
In the evening, when the men were returning from their work, they heard a miserable howling and splashing from the old manure-well in the field. They stopped ...
-The Crow Again
The kittens are now compelled more and more to find their own food; and in consequence are often reduced to a very meagre diet. Maybugs, grasshoppers, and ...
-Chapter Eight: The Kittens Go Out Hunting
GREY PUSS had not been home for two whole days and nights. And the unaided efforts of the kittens to secure food had not resulted in anything more satisfying ...
-The Attack On The Crow'S Nest
Black, shadowed by Terror, walks straight towards the village copse; a little wilderness of elms and ashes, with a thick undergrowth of nettles, meadow-sweet, ...
-Chapter Nine: The Canary
ROUND the outskirts of the farm the wallflowers crowd in full bloom, flaming and glowing in the nearly risen sun. A little fox-coloured cat curls in and out ...
-Box And The Red Communist
Red became more and more reckless and the wretched Box, who often saw her from his kennel, suffered the agonies of Tantalus! His defeat in the manure-well had ...
-The Smoke-Dog
The nihilist was really beginning to reform. What the farmer's wife failed to achieve with her dog lessons, Grey Puss succeeded in doing with her needle-like ...
-Chapter Ten: The Best Cat
BIG-CAT knew the neighbourhood thoroughly for a distance of at least two miles in every direction. Along fence and ditch, which were his hunting-paths, he ...
-The Hanger-On
Black is a fighter: brave, daring, sometimes foolhardy; but Terror is, and always will be, a hanger-on. When all danger is past, and the owl has flown away, he ...
-Grey On The Warpath
Over hill and dale as far as the eye can reach stretch line after line of stacked-up corn-sheaves. The golden oats and the light-yellow barley and wheat, have ...
-The Thief-Cat
While the others sneaked round in copse and cornfield, following their crooked, winding hunting-paths, Red-kitten usually made a bee-line to the nearest house ...
-White-Kitten And The Calf
In the neighbourhood of the pool also, where the red baby-calf was tethered, autumn began to wave its withered hand. The great burdock plants were dying of ...
-Chapter Eleven: The Kittens Hunt By Night
THE September moon rises red-gold and majestic from the mists of the horizon, and lights up the harvested fields where the five big kittens are stalking their ...
-The Death Of Box
Grey Puss becomes lazier and lazier, and no longer takes the slightest interest in her offsprings' food difficulties. Whereas formerly she used often to go ...
-Home-Sickness
Now that Box was dead Grey Puss had only mankind to fear! She hated mankind, which surpassed even her in cunning and rapacity and yet, she could never forget ...
-Chapter Twelve: The Demon Mouser
THE crofter lived down by the marsh, where he owned some fields with blackish-brown soil, which he was ploughing for the autumn sowing. . . . The ploughing ...
-Exit Red
Sulphur-yellow, gall-green shafts mingle with the scarlet of the sunrise, and slowly wrest a large quadrangular farmhouse from the cloudy October dawn's foul ...
-Big-Kitten Turns Wild Cat
One autumn evening, as huge, billowy clouds are drifting across the orange-gold western sky, Big-cat wakes in his lair and feels the call to action. The noise ...
-The Home Of The Fisherman
After leaving the village the main road rose over the brow of the hill and ran down again between rich, fertile fields until it crossed the river which hugged ...
-Black Joins The Army
At last Madness has succeeded in coming to grips with the young fox. . . . They do battle on a grassy field, bounded on one side by yellow straw and on the ...
-Chapter Thirteen: Grey Puss' Future
THE late autumn showers were beginning. . . . Heavy, violet-blue clouds swollen with moisture drifted about and often two rainbows stood simultaneously one ...









TOP
previous page: Knowledge For The People Or, The Plain Why And Because | by John Timbs
  
page up: Animal Books
  
next page: Stories of Animal Sagacity | by William Henry Giles Kingston