STORY OF A MOUSE AND TffE MORAL THERElW
BY JANE WHITAKER
Once on a time there was a little-gray mouse with a very wIbq mamma'
mouse and grandparents to teach it to avoid all of the snares that beset the
paths of mice.
Every night its mpther would say, as she took him foraging and taught,
him where to look for the tid-bits or how to get out of the way of the cat;,.
"You must watch out for the human beings. Though the same power,
that created us created the human beings, they think because they are.
bigger than we that they have a right to torture us, apd if one of them
ever catches you, you can expect po mercy. They don't know what mercy
Now the little mouse listened, but like all little mice, lie thought he
was so much more clever than his elders who had faced danger and fought,
danger, and, though battle scarred, were victors,
So one night he called his mother's attention to a little steel contrap
uon, msiae 01 wnicn was a uuuiuuh
piece of cheese.
"Oh, mother," he said, "see, we
don't need to go. fussing around after
food or be hungry when we don't find
it. Some good creature has laid a
spread for us."
"Come away, my son," his mother
cried. "Don't you know that is the
way the humans tempt us. They pre
tend they are going to give us some
thing just for the taking, but they
want to take away our freedom, to
make captives of us, and even to kill
us. Sometimes, they put you in a
pail of water and drown you, but
sometimes " the mother mouse
shuddered ''sometimes they let you
starve to death."
The little mouse knew better, of
eourse. He was particularly hungry
that night, and it seemed not only
foolish but, also a matter of neces
sity that he should take the food so
temptingly offered, so he stole away
from his mother's side, and entered
the steel house, but just as he nib
bled the cheese, there was a bang,
and he was a captive.
At the .first realization, he was
very much frightened, but after a
while he began tq figure that humans
Who provide meals for mice must be j
necessarily juuu-.ueu4j.cu, bu 110 giuw
And when the morning came, he
believed that he was right and
mother wrong, because a little boy?
Risked if he might keep the mouse for
a pet, and the boy's mother said hp
could, provided he didn't let' it out5of
the cage. s
That night when -the mother of th
mouse came around and found hinj
in the trap she was heart-sick.
"Oh, my son," she said, "what have
you done? You are a slave -now
forever, you never will be free to
I play in your Idle hours, to sleepvwhen
yuu. wibu ttuu iw jgm our gionous
hunt for food."
"Why should I hunt for food," the
little mouse asked, haughtily. "I
have been fed today untjl I am sq
full I am sleepy, and all I had to do
was run around the cage when the!
little boy poked me with a stick. Tha
isn't Tiard work."
Of "course, the mother mouse
argued. She told him of other mice
that had started the same way, and
of how they had to run more and
more to amuse 'the greedy human;
owners, and she told him how the
greedy human owner grew indifferent
as to whether they fed the mice after
a while, yet still expected them to
run around when they poked with
a tlck but it wasn't any .use the
xnous knew better,
Mother stayed away for a while,
but other mice would come around,
EeTus gnaw you out," they would
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