The Mouse family lived in the corner of an old barn, under the floor. There were the father and the mother, with two children. These two were the last of a large family. They were called Brownie and Bright Eyes.
Brownie was a bold little mouse, and his mother was always afraid that he would get into mischief. Before going to hunt for food she would say to him "Now, Brownie, you must not go out of doors when I am away. You must take care of little Bright Eyes."
Brownie always promised to stay indoors, and to be very careful not to go near Mrs. Cat, who lived in the farmhouse. But one night he forgot all about this promise, after the Father and Mother Mouse had gone out to hunt.
Brownie said to little Bright Eyes: "Let us go out and hunt by ourselves. There is no fun down here. It is far too dull. I heard Father talking to Mother about a cupboard over in the farmhouse. He said there was cheese in it. Let us go and find that cupboard."
So Brownie and Bright Eyes crept out from under the floor. Then they ran through the old barn, and slipped through a hole where the hens went out and in.
"I think this is far enough," said Bright Eyes, for she was timid.
"Nonsense," said Brownie. "Let us go on."
Brownie went first. He made a run across the farmyard, and Bright Eyes followed. The dog barked. But Brownie said: "I am not afraid of a dog. Here is an open door; let us pop inside, and see what is to be seen."
They went in, and found themselves in the kitchen of the farmhouse. There, in the corner, was a cupboard.
"Here is the very place," said Brownie, "for I smell the cheese. We are lucky mice."
When they got inside the cupboard, sure enough, there was the cheese. It was just a little bit. So the two mice began to nibble it. Brownie was strong and greedy, so he pulled the cheese away from Bright Eyes. This rattled a dish, and wakened Mrs. Cat.
At once Mrs. Cat began to walk gently towards the cupboard. When she saw the two mice, Mrs. Cat made one spring and upset all the dishes. So Bright Eyes ran away as fast as she could. When she got home under the floor in the old barn, Bright Eyes was all shaking with fear.
"Where is your brother, my dear?" said the Mother Mouse.
"I don't know," said Bright Eyes, and then she told all that had happened.
"I know where he has gone," said Mrs. Mouse. "The naughty boy! Mrs. Cat has got him, poor thing! But that comes of doing what he was told not to do." So Brownie never came back.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
—Ephesians vi. 1.