Gateway to the Classics: The Book of Fables and Folk Stories by Horace E. Scudder
The Book of Fables and Folk Stories by  Horace E. Scudder


The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse

A Country Mouse had a friend who lived in a house in town. Now the Town Mouse was invited by the Country Mouse to take dinner with him. Out he went, and sat down to a dinner of barley and wheat.

"Do you know, my friend," said he, "that you live a mere ant's life out here? Now, I have plenty at home. Come and enjoy the good things there with me."

So the two set off for town. There the Town Mouse showed the other his beans and meal, his dates, his cheese and fruit and honey.

As the Country Mouse ate, drank, and was merry, he praised his friend and bewailed his own poor lot.

But while they were urging each other to eat heartily, a man suddenly opened the door. Frightened by the noise, they crept into a crack. By and by, when he had gone, they came out and tasted of some dried figs. In came another person to get something that was in the room. When they caught sight of him, they ran and hid in a hole.

At that the Country Mouse forgot his hunger, and with a sigh, said to the other:—

"Please yourself, my good friend; eat all you want and get rich,—and be in a fright the whole time. As for me, I am a poor fellow, I know, who have only barley and wheat. But I am content to live on those, and have nothing to frighten me."

Those who have the plain things of life are often better off than the rich.

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