“One evening when a company of children and older people were looking at funny cat-pictures and telling cat-stories, a little ten year-old girl asked: ‘Why can there not be a Cats’ Arabian Nights Story Book?’”
“There would have to be a Cat King, or Emperor, or Sultan,” said her next older sister.
“And a Cat Queen, or Empress, or Sultaness,” said their cousin Joe, the sailor.
“And she would have to go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, telling stories in order to save her own life,” said their cousin Lucia.
“I propose,” said uncle Fred, “that cousin Lucia put together a Cats’ Arabian Nights for little children, and have it ready to read to our little children when they all shall come next summer with their fathers and mothers.”
“Oh yes! Yes! Do! Pray do! Won’t you do it? Say you will! Say you will!” cried many voices.
“I think it will be fun to do it,” said cousin Lucia, “if you allow me to put in some make believe and nonsense, if I want to.”
“Certainly!” was the cry. “Put in anything. Anything you please!”
Cousin Lucia said she was willing to try, and thus it happened that the summer-children and others got a story book beginning, as all story books should begin, with – once upon a time.