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THE KATYDID'S QUARREL

  • THE warm summer days were past, and the Katydids came again to the meadow.
  • Everybody was glad to see them, and the Grasshoppers, who are cousins of the
  • Katydids, gave a party in their honor.
  • Such a time as the meadow people had getting ready for that party! They did
  • not have to change their dresses, but they scraped and cleaned themselves, and
  • all the young Grasshoppers went off by the woods to practise jumping and get
  • their knees well limbered, because there might be games and dancing at the
  • party, and then how dreadful it would be if any young Grasshopper should find
  • that two or three of his legs wouldn't bend easily!
  • The Grasshoppers did not know at just what time they ought to have the party.
  • Some of the meadow people whom they wanted to invite were used to sleeping all
  • day, and some were used to sleeping all night, so it really was hard to find
  • an hour at which all would be wide-awake and ready for fun. At last the Tree
  • Frog said: "Pukr-r-rup! Pukr-r-rup! Have it at sunset!" And at sunset it was.
  • Everyone came on time, and they hopped and chattered and danced and ate a
  • party supper of tender green leaves. Some of the little Grasshoppers grew
  • sleepy and crawled among the plantains for a nap. Just then a big Katydid said
  • he would sing a song—which was a very kind thing for him to do, because he
  • really did it to make the others happy, and not to show what a fine musician
  • he was. All the guests said, "How charming!" or, "We should be delighted!" and
  • he seated himself on a low swinging branch. You know Katydids sing with the
  • covers of their wings, and so when he alighted on the branch he smoothed down
  • his pale green suit and rubbed his wing-cases a little to make sure that they
  • were in tune. Then he began loud and clear, "Katy did! Katy did!! Katy did!!!"
  • Of course he didn't mean any real Katy, but was just singing his song.
  • However, there was another Katydid there who had a habit of contradicting, and
  • he had eaten too much supper, and that made him feel crosser than ever; so
  • when the singer said "Katy did!" this cross fellow jumped up and said, "Katy
  • didn't! Katy didn't!! Katy didn't!!!" and they kept at it, one saying that she
  • did and the other that she didn't, until everybody was ashamed and
  • uncomfortable, and some of the little Grasshoppers awakened and wanted to know
  • what was the matter.Both of the singers got more and more vexed until at last
  • neither one knew just what he was saying—and that, you know, is what almost
  • always happens when people grow angry. They just kept saying something as loud
  • and fast as possible and thought all the while that they were very
  • bright—which was all they knew about it.
  • Suddenly somebody noticed that the one who began to say "Katy did!" was
  • screaming "Katy didn't!" and the one who had said "Katy didn't!" was roaring
  • "Katy did!" Then they all laughed, and the two on the branch looked at each
  • other in a very shamefaced way.The Tree Frog always knew the right thing to
  • do, and he said "Pukr-r-rup!" so loudly that all stopped talking at once. When
  • they were quiet he said: "We will now listen to a duet, 'Katy,' by the two
  • singers who are up the tree. All please join in the chorus." So it was begun
  • again, and both the leaders were good-natured, and all the Katydids below
  • joined in with "did or didn't, did or didn't, did or didn't." And that was the
  • end of the quarrel.