The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Read by Peter Jacobson

Full Text

"The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse" by Aesop

Once upon a time, an ordinary country mouse invited his fancy cousin, the Town Mouse, for dinner. The Town Mouse hated the country with all of his heart, but he loved his cousin very much and agreed to come. The Country Mouse offered all his food freely, even though it was only a few small scraps of beans and bacon. The Town Mouse, though, was rather displeased with his supper, and said, "I cannot understand, cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this? Can you not find anything better in all of the country? Come with me and I will show you how to live. When you have been in town a week, you will wonder how you could ever have been able to stand a country life." And with that, the two mice set off for the town and arrived at the Town Mouse's residence late at night.

"You will want some refreshments after our long journey," said the town mouse, as he took his friend into the grand dining room. There, they found the remains of a fine feast, and soon the two mice were eating up turkey, fresh breads, jellies and lavish cakes. Then all of a sudden, in the middle of their grand meal, they heard growling and barking.

"Wh...wh...what is that?" said the Country Mouse, frightened at the unfamiliar noise.

"It is only the dogs of the house," answered the other.

"Only!" cried the Country Mouse, "I do not like that music at my dinner!" Just then, the door flew open and two huge drooling dogs darted towards the mice. The cousins scampered away before the two dogs could make them into a feast of their own.

"Good-bye, cousin," said the Country Mouse.
"What! Going so soon?" said the other.

"Yes," he replied. "Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and jelly in fear."