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The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

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Aesop's fables are a collection of fables believed to have been written by the Greek storyteller Aesop. Aesop lived over 2000 and his many fables are known throughout the world.

The main characters in these stories, and in all fables, are animals they teach us a moral lesson.

Aesop's Fable: The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Once upon a time a town mouse went to visit his cousin in the country. This country mouse was down-to-earth, and he loved his cousin and made him welcome.  Beans, cheese, and bread were all the country mouse had to offer, but he offered them freely. The town mouse, being used to gourmet cuisine, turned up his nose at this country fare.

"I cannot understand, Cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this, but of course you cannot expect anything better in the country.  Come with me and I will show you how to really live. When you have been in town a week, you will wonder how you could ever have stood your simple country life."

No sooner said than done, the two mice set off for town and arrived at the town mouse's residence.  "You will want some refreshments after our long journey," said the polite town mouse and took his friend into a grand dining room.  There they found the remains of a feast, and soon the two mice were eating up tarts and cakes and all that was nice.

Suddenly, they heard growling and barking.  "What is that?" asked the country mouse.  "It is only the dogs of the house," answered the other.  "Only!" said the country mouse. "I do not like to hear that sound at my dinner table.”  Just at that moment the door flew open, and in came two huge mastiffs. The two mice had to scamper down from the table and run off.  "Good-bye, Cousin," said the country mouse.  "What! Going so soon?" said the other. "Yes," he replied. "Better beans and bread in peace than cakes and tarts in fear."

Now answer these comprehension questions:

  • 1. What was the town mouse's reaction to the food the country mouse gave him?

  • 2. A 'residence' is:

  • 3. What does 'turn up one's nose' mean?

  • 4. What is the moral of the story?

  • 5. Why did the town mouse go to the country?

  • 6. What did the country mouse have to offer the town mouse?

  • 7. What was the town mouse used to?

  • 8. Where did the mice feast on tarts and cakes?