The Country Mouse and the City Mouse

Once there were two mice that had been play­mates when they were young but life had tak­en them on dif­fer­ent paths, and they had gone their sep­a­rate ways. One lived in the coun­try wheras the oth­er has cho­sen to live in the city.

Then one day, by chance, their paths crossed again.  Right then and there, they decid­ed to renew their old friend­ship.

You should come for a vis­it to the coun­try,” said the coun­try mouse. “The fresh air will do you good.”

That dos sound splen­did” agreed the city mouse.  “How does the day after tomor­row sound?”

So it was that the date and the time were set and the coun­try mouse hur­ried home that very day and began to get ready for his vis­i­tor.

He loved the qui­et lit­tle cor­ner of the old barn that he called home.  The farmer’s gra­nary and corn­crib offered food in a nev­er-end­ing sup­ply, and for vari­ety there were seeds in the gar­den and nut trees in the yard.  Beyond that, the rolling fields and lush mead­ows offered the most beau­ti­ful views.

He spent the rest of the day tidy­ing up and gath­er­ing the finest foods he could find.  At last, every­thing was ready, and the coun­try mouse could­n’t wait to share his love­ly home with his old friend.

Ear­ly the next morn­ing, the city mouse arrived and from the start, things did­n’t go well.  He was dusty from the jour­ney and the coun­try breeze had mussed up his fan­cy hair, but he made the best of it and smiled faint­ly as the excit­ed coun­try mouse showed him around.  IT was­n’t long, how­ev­er, before the coun­try mouse was see­ing his hum­ble home through the sophis­ti­cat­ed eyes of the city mouse.  And by the time they sat down to lunch, the poor coun­try mouse was feel­ing that his rus­tic lifestyle real­ly was­n’t that much to be proud of after all.

You real­ly must come to the city,” sniffed the city mouse, as he polite­ly nib­bled at a fried bean.  “The food alone is to die for.”  He returned the bare­ly touched bean to his plate and declared he sim­ply could not eat anoth­er bite.

So first thing the next morn­ing, they set out for town.  Once inside the city lim­its, it was now the city mouse that grew excit­ed and hap­pi­ly point­ed out all the cul­tur­al attrac­tions and fea­tures of inter­est.  Com­pared to the coun­try, the city cer­tain­ly did have a lot going on.  Then, in front of a grand house on a beau­ti­ful, cob­ble-stoned street, the city mouse sud­den­ly stopped.

Well, this is it.  Home Sweet Home!” he smiled proud­ly.

Inside, they toured room after room, each more love­ly than the last.  They scam­pered across fine car­pets and strolled beneath rich pol­ished fur­ni­ture.  Final­ly, they came into the din­ing room.

Ah, we’re in luck” beamed the city mouse.  “The Mas­ter of the house is prepar­ing for a par­ty!”

With­in moments, they climbed onto the table and were sur­round­ed by the most glo­ri­ous array of food that the coun­try mouse had ever seen.  Cakes, pies, roast meats, breads, exot­ic friuits and more were all dis­played on sil­ver plat­ters and crys­tal glass­ware.

They had just begun to nib­ble at a deli­cious cake when one of the ser­vants came bustling into the room to rearrange the flow­ers.  Quick­ly, the two mice hid behind a sil­ver cof­fee pot.  Again and again, just as they thought the coast was clear and they could enjoy some of the boun­ty, yet anoth­er human would enter the room, mak­ing the two mice hide in fear.  Soon, the can­dles were lit and the guests began to arrive, and with them went all hope of ever hav­ing a momen­t’s peace.

As the two mice escaped from the din­ing room and into a cramped, dark hole in the wall that the city mouse called his “bed­cham­ber,” the coun­try mouse made a deci­sion.

You know, old friend,” he said, “You are sur­round­ed by the finest food and fur­nish­ing that mon­ey can buy, but you can’t enjoy any of it.  To you, my food and home may be sim­ple, but I now real­ize that it’s the sim­ple life for me!”

With that, the old friends shook hands and once more part­ed ways.  The coun­try mouse returned to the coun­try and the city mouse remained in town.  Each mouse remained in his own home, hap­py with the life he had cho­sen.