Once upon a time, there was a poor orphan boy called Dick
Whittington. The people in his village believed that the streets of
London were paved with gold. So Dick decided to travel there and
become a rich man.
Dick walked for many days, but when he arrived in London there were
no streets of gold! Tired and hungry, he fell asleep on the steps of a
The house belonged to a rich businessman who found Dick and gave him a job cleaning the kitchen.
Dick worked very hard and was happy. He had enough to eat and at night he could sleep by the fire.
There was a problem though! At night, rats ran around the kitchen and kept him awake.
So Dick went out and found the fastest rat-catching cat in London! The cat caught all the rats that
came into the house and Dick could sleep at night.
The businessman heard about the amazing cat and asked Dick if he could take it on his ship to catch
rats on his next journey. Dick agreed, but was very sad to see the cat go.
While the businessman was away, the other servants were very mean to Dick, so Dick decided to run
away. But as he was leaving, one of the great church bells rang. It seemed to say, ‘Turn back, Dick
Whittington, Mayor of London!’
So Dick came back to the house and soon the businessman returned. He was very happy because
Dick’s cat had caught all the rats on the ship. He gave Dick a reward and promoted him to his
Dick worked hard for the businessman and learned everything he could. Eventually he married the
businessman’s daughter and started a very successful business of his own. And, yes, he did become
Mayor of London!