Country Mouse and the City Mouse

A Children's Story Classic

Once a little mouse who lived in the country invited a little mouse from the city to visit
him.  When the little City Mouse  sat down to dinner he was surprised to find that the
Country Mouse had nothing to eat except barley and grain.

"Really," he said, "you do not live well at all; you should see how I live!  I have all sorts of
fine things to eat every day.  You must come to visit me and see how nice it is to live in
the city."

The little Country Mouse was glad to do this, and after a while he went to the city to visit
his friend.

The very first place that the City Mouse took the Country Mouse to see was the kitchen
cupboard of the house where he lived.  There, on the lowest shelf, behind some stone
jars, stood a big paper bag of brown sugar.  The little City Mouse gnawed a hole in the
bag and invited his friend to nibble for himself.

The two little mice nibbled and nibbled, and the Country Mouse thought he had never
tasted anything so delicious in his life.  He was just thinking how lucky the City Mouse
was, when suddenly the door opened with a bang, and in came the cook to get some
flour.
"Run!" whispered the City Mouse. And they ran as fast as they could to the little hole
where they had come in.  The little Country Mouse was shaking all over when they got
safely away, but the little City Mouse said, "That is nothing; she will soon go away and
then we can go back."

After the cook had gone away and shut the door they stole softly back, and this time the
City Mouse had something new to show: he took the little Country Mouse into a corner on
the top shelf, where a big jar of dried prunes stood open.  After much tugging and pulling
they got a large dried prune out of the jar on to the shelf and began to nibble at it.  This
was even better than the brown sugar.  The little Country Mouse liked the taste so much
that he could hardly nibble fast enough. But all at once, in the midst of their eating, there
came a scratching at the door and a sharp, loud MIAOUW!

"What is that?" said the Country Mouse.
The City Mouse just whispered, "Sh!" and ran as fast as he could to the hole.  The
Country Mouse ran after, you may be sure, as fast as HE could.  As soon as they were
out of danger the City Mouse  said, "That was the old Cat; she is the best mouser in
town,--if she once gets you, you are lost."

"This is very terrible," said the little Country Mouse; "let us not go back to the cupboard
again."

"No," said the City Mouse, "I will take you to the cellar; there is something special there."

So the City Mouse took his little friend down the cellar stairs and into a big cupboard
where there were many shelves.  On the shelves were jars of butter, and cheeses in bags
and out of bags.  Overhead hung bunches of sausages, and there were spicy apples in
barrels standing about.  It smelled so good that it went to the little Country Mouse's head.  
He ran along the shelf and nibbled at a cheese here, and a bit of butter there, until he saw
an especially rich, very delicious-smelling piece of cheese on a strange little stand in a
corner. He was just on the point of putting his teeth into the cheese when the City Mouse
saw him.

"Stop! stop!" cried the City Mouse. "That is a trap!"

The little Country Mouse stopped and said, "What is a trap?"

"That thing is a trap," said the little City Mouse.  "The minute you touch the cheese with
your teeth something comes down on your head hard, and you're dead."

The little Country Mouse looked at the trap, and he looked at the cheese, and he looked at
the little City Mouse.  "If you'll excuse me," he said, "I think I will go home.  I'd rather
have barley and grain to eat and eat it in peace and comfort, than have brown sugar and
dried prunes and cheese,--and be frightened to death all the time!"

So the little Country Mouse went back to his home, and there he stayed all the rest of his
life.
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