The Fables of Aesop, based on the text of L'estrange and Croxall
A Country Mouse, plain, sensible sort of fellow, was once visited by former friend of his, who lived in neighboring city. The Country Mouse put before his friend some fine peas and wheat-stalks, and called upon him to eat heartily of the good cheer. The City Mouse nibbled little here and there in dainty manner, wondering at the pleasure his host took in such coarse and ordinary fare. Finally the City Mouse said to his host, in their after-dinner chat, "Really, my good friend, I am surprised that you can keep in such spirits in this dismal, dead-and-alive kind of place. You see here no life, no gayety, no society in short, but go on and on, in dull, humdrum sort of way, from one year's end to another. Come now, with me, this very night, and see with your own eyes what life I lead." The Country Mouse consented, and as soon as it was dark, off they started for the city, where they arrived just at the end of splendid supper given by the master of the house where our town friend lived. The City Mouse soon got together heap of dainties on corner of the handsome carpet. The Country Mouse, who had never even heard the names of half the meats set before him, was hesitating where he should begin, when the room door creaked, opened, and in entered a servant with light. Off ran the Mice; but everything soon being quiet again, they returned to their repast, when once more the door opened, and the son of the master of the house came running in, followed by his little Terrier, who ran sniffing to the very spot where our friends had just been. The City Mouse was by that time safe in his hole—which, by the way, he had not been thoughtful enough to show to his friend, who could find no better shelter than that afforded by a sofa, behind which he waited in fear and trembling till quiet was again restored. The City Mouse then called upon him to resume his supper, but the Country Mouse said, No, no; I shall be off as fast as I can. I would rather have my wheat-stalk with peace and security, than all your fine things in the midst of such alarms and frights as these." A crust with quietness is better than feast eaten in fear.
Joseph Walter McSpadden
Thomas Y. Crowell Company
Draws heavily from L'estrange (20) and Croxall (41)