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.

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