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Polaris AB: The Fable Collection of Short Stories
A Town Mouse once ventured out into the countryside to visit a relative.
Delighted to see her, for lunch the Country Mouse had gathered together wheat grains, roots, and a few acorns, with a dash of cold water from the stream for a drink. The Town Mouse although hungry from travelling, ate very sparingly, nibbling a little of this and a little of that and by her manner making it very obvious that she ate the food just to be polite.
After the simple meal the friends had a long talk, or rather the Town Mouse talked constantly about her lifestyle in the city while the Country Mouse listened. They then went to bed in a cozy straw nest in the hedgerow and slept in quiet and comfort until morning. In her sleep, the Country Mouse dreamed she was a Town Mouse with all the luxuries and delights of city life that her friend had described for her. So the next day when the Town Mouse asked the Country Mouse to go home with her to the city, she gladly said yes.
When they arrived, the Town Mouse led the Country Mouse into the dining room where on the table lay a fine banquet of jellies and pastries, cheeses and nuts. The Country Mouse was amazed that all the food was all laid out ready for them just to tuck in and help themselves. “See what luxury I live in, such abundance, all you could ever wish for”, she proclaimed. The Country Mouse certainly agreed.
They climbed up onto the table and were just about to nibble on a pastry, when the House Cat, which had been waiting in the shadows, pounced out and narrowly missed them with her sharp claws as they scurried away at high speed.
As they lay still, catching their breath, the Town Mouse decided to take the Country Mouse into the Food Pantry instead. They made their way along the edges of the corridors, constantly stopping and waiting to see if there were any signs of the cat. They reached the pantry and climbed up onto the wooden shelves to find themselves once again surrounded by food, packets of sweet biscuits, boxes of cereal and all manner of delicious smelling wrapped foods.
Just then, the House Dog entered the room, having smelled the mice from afar, he jumped up and down barking and growling trying to get to their position. The Town Mice quickly said “Follow me” and led the terrified Country mouse through a crack in the wall that led them into the kitchen.
Once again, beautiful smells wafted all around them as they made their way up to the kitchen worktops to see what food they could get hold of. With a shout, suddenly a large carving knife held by the Kitchen Chef came down sharply behind them, taking off the very tip of the tail of the Town Mouse. They leapt off the work tops, landing heavily on the floor and ran as fast as they could run back out of the kitchen.
They ran swiftly past the barking dog, quickly dodging past the sharp clawed cat and back up to the Town Mouse’s nest in the attic made of fine furs and soft silken threads taken from the materials surrounding them.
“We are quite safe here” – said the Town Mouse – “My last place was nicer but I had to move. I have stayed here for at least a month now and they haven’t found me yet – so we should be alright”.
As the Town Mouse nursed her bleeding wound, she continued saying - “Oh well, that has been quite adventurous. Maybe we will be luckier in a few days’ time once things have settled, the Cat and Dog aren’t always around and we can try again to go and get some of that delicious food”.
The Country Mouse picked up her bag – "It’s all very well having all these beautiful things around you" – she said as she hurried away – “but you are living in constant fear of trying to obtain them – this is not for me, I would rather have simpler things and a simpler existence in the country in peace and quiet without having to worry about my health the whole time".
And the Moral of the story is:
Better to leave a simple life in peace than be in the midst of plenty with fear and uncertainty all the time.
Aesop's Fables c. 600 B.C.