My dear Ina,
Though I don’t give birthday presents, still I may write a birthday letter. I came to your door to wish you many happy returns of the day, but the cat met me, and took me for a mouse, and hunted me up and down till I could hardly stand. However somehow I got into the house, and there a mouse met me, and took me for a cat, and pelted me with fire-irons, crockery, and bottles. Of course I ran into the street again, and a horse met me and took me for a cart, and dragged me all the way to the Guildhall, but the worst of all was when a cart met me and took me for a horse. I was harnessed to it, and had to draw it miles and miles, all the way to Merrow. So you see I couldn’t get to the room where you were.
However I was glad to hear you were hard at work learning the multiplication tables for a birthday treat.
I had just time to look in to the kitchen, and saw your birthday feast getting ready, a nice dish of crusts, bones, pills, cotton-bobbins, and rhubarb and magnesia. “Now,” I thought, “she will be happy!” and with a smile I went on my way.
Your affectionate friend,
C. L. D.