Mr Miacca- Elementary 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 and don’t go out of our street,” his mother used to say to him. “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 caught him. He put him into a big bag, and 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, and you’ll not taste bad once we boil you.”

Mr Miacca stopped talking and looked like like he had just remembered something. “Oh no!” he said. “I forgot to buy herbs today, and you won’t taste very nice if we don’t cook you with herbs.”

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

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

“Oh, here’s a little boy for dinner,” said Mr Miacca, “but I forgot to buy herbs. Watch him, will you, while I go up to the shop and buy some.”

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

Then Tommy Grimes said to Mrs Miacca: “Does Mr Miacca always have little boys for dinner?”

“Yes, most days,” said Mrs Miacca. “If he can find little boys that are bad enough and get in his way.”

“And don’t you have anything other than boys? No dessert after dinner?” asked Tommy.

“Ah, I love dessert,” says Mrs Miacca. “But it’s not often we have dessert.”

“Why, my mother is making a dessert this very day,” said Tommy Grimes, “and I am sure she’d give you some, if I ask her. Shall I run and get some?”

“Now, that’s a thoughtful boy,” said Mrs Miacca, “only don’t be long and be sure to be back for dinner.”

So off Tommy ran as fast as he could. He was very happy to get off so easily. And for many a long day he was as good as good could be and never went out of his own street. But he couldn’t always be good. One day he again went into the next street. And, as before, Mr Miacca caught him, put him into his big bag, and took him off to his house.

When he got him there, Mr Miacca pulled him out. When he saw him he said, “Ah, you’re the youngster that played a mean trick on Mrs Miacca once, leaving us with no dinner. Well, you shan’t do it again. I’ll watch over you myself this time. Here, get under this chair until the water is hot enough, and I’ll sit on it and cut up some vegetables to cook with you.”

So poor Tommy Grimes had to sit under the chair, and Mr Miacca sat on it. There were a number of different kinds of knives on the table. Mr Miacca took one and started to cut up the vegetables. There was a big pot of water sitting on a fire in the fireplace. After he had finished, Mr Miacca put the vegetables into the pot and waited for it to get hot enough to cook Tommy. He waited and waited, and at last could wait no more. “Here, you under there,” he said, “I’m not going to wait 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 chopper from the table, cut it off, and dropped it into the pot.

“Sally! Sally!” he called, but nobody answered. He got up and went into the next room to look for Mrs Miacca. While he was there, Tommy came out from under the chair and ran out of the door. For it was a leg of another chair that he had put out.

So Tommy Grimes ran home, and he never went into the next street again till he was old enough to go alone.