Mr Miacca- Beginner Level

Tommy Grimes was sometimes a good boy, and sometimes a bad boy. And when he was a bad boy, he was a very bad boy.

“Tommy, Tommy, be a good boy,” his mother used to say to him. “Don’t go out of our street to play. If you do, Mr Miacca will get you.”

But when Tommy was a bad boy, he would go out of the street. One day, as he was walking in the next street, Mr Miacca saw him. He picked Tommy up and put him into a big bag. Then he took him off to his house. When Mr Miacca got Tommy inside, he pulled him out of the bag and sat him down. He felt Tommy’s arms and legs. “There is not much meat on you is there?” he said. “But you’re all I’ve got for dinner, so I’ll cook you as best I can.”

Mr Miacca stopped talking and looked like like he had just thought of something. “Oh no!” he said. “We don’t have any vegetables! Little boys taste bad if you don’t cook them with vegetables.”

“Sally! Sally!” he called, and Mrs Miacca came out of the next room.

“What do you want, my love?” she asked.

“I want to eat this little boy for dinner,” said Mr Miacca. “But we don’t have any vegetables. Watch him, will you, and I will go up to the shop and buy some.”

“All right, my love,” said Mrs Miacca, and off he went.

Then Tommy asked Mrs Miacca: “Does Mr Miacca always eat little boys for dinner?”

“Yes, most days,” she answered. “If he can find any that are bad enough and get in his way.”

“And don’t you have anything to eat other than little boys with vegetables? No fruit? Or cake after dinner?” asked Tommy.

“Oh, I do love cake!” says Mrs Miacca. “But it’s not often we have it.”

“Why, my mother is making a cake this very day,” said Tommy Grimes. “I know she’d be happy to give you some, if I ask her. Shall I run and get it for you?”

“Now, that’s a thoughtful boy,” said Mrs Miacca. “But please don’t be too long. Try to be back in time for dinner.”

So off Tommy ran as fast as he could. He was so happy to get away from Mr Miacca that he was as good as good could be. Because of this, he stayed in his own street for a long time. But he couldn’t always be good. One day he again went into the next street. And, as before, Mr Miacca picked him up, put him into his big bag, and took him off to his house.

When he got Tommy there, Mr Miacca pulled him out. “Ah!” he said when he saw who it was. “You’re the boy who told Mrs Miacca you were going home to get her some cake. We had nothing to eat but vegetables that night. Well, you are not going to get away again. I’ll watch you myself this time. Here, get under this chair. I’ll sit on top of it and let you out when it is time to cook dinner.”

So Mr Miacca sat on the chair, and Tommy sat under it. There was a table next to the chair. On it were some vegetables and a number of different kinds of knives. Mr Miacca took a small knife. He cut up the vegetables and put them into a big pot of water that was sitting on a fire in the fireplace. Then he sat and waited for the water to get hotter. He sat and sat, but still the water was not hot enough.

“Here, you under there,” he said to Tommy at last. “I’m not going to sit here any longer. Put out one of your legs, so I can stop you running away again.”

Tommy put out a leg and Mr Miacca took a very big knife from the table. He cut off the leg and put it into the pot.

He called out to Mrs Miacca, but she did not answer. He got up and went into the next room to look for her. As soon as he was gone, Tommy came out from under the chair and ran out of the door. It was not his own leg that Tommy had held out to Mr Miacca, but the leg of a different chair.

So Tommy ran home once more. And he never went into the next street again until his mother said that he was old enough.