The Herford Æsop; fifty fables in verse
A COUNTRY Mouse once asked a friend Who lived in Town to come and spend The day, and breathe his country air, And taste his simple country fare. But simple fare like cheese and rye And oatmeal failed to satisfy The City Mouse's pampered taste. "Your life, my friend, is going to waste In this outlandish hole," said he. "Come into Town and visit me — And I will show you how (forgive Plain speech) a gentlemouse should live." His host accepted with delight, So off they set and that same night, Arriving at the city house, Sat down to dine. The Country Mouse, Bewildered, scarce believed his eyes, For here were almonds, nuts and pies, Honey and custard, cream and cake, And—"What's that noise? For mercy's sake!" The Country Mouse exclaimed in fright, As through the floor with all their might They scampered, panting, out of breath."It almost frightened me to death!" "Oh, that—" explained the City Mouse,"That is the Man who shares my house; But he won't hurt you —" "That may be," Replied the guest, "but not for me This whirl of cake and custard gay; It is not worth the price you pay. I'm just as much obliged, but I Prefer the Simple Life — Good-by!"
Ginn and Company
Illustrated by Oliver Herford