THE LITTLE FIELD MICE
From the German of Thekla Naveau.
Translated by Bertha Johnston in "Kindergarten Magazine."
IT was summertime, and in the field were many mice.
They were happy, indeed, for here, where they ran back
and forth, between the herbs and high stalks, were ripe
peas, and wheat, and corn. They bit off the ears, and
carried them to their holes, and ate to the full
without care or trouble.
Then came autumn. The reapers whetted their scythes,
and one morning the wheat stalks fell, so the mice had
to run from the cats and the birds. They scurried into
their holes, and only came out stealthily to fetch a
couple of peas or an ear of wheat.
 But the grain was taken up, bound into sheaves and
carried into the village, and food became scarce in the
field. Soon, too, came the plough, which broke up the
ground, and tore up the little mice's holes. The mice
said: "Things are going very badly with us; let us
move back into the carrot field." So they did.
They liked the carrot field very much. The earth was
loose, and the carrots tasted sweet, but along came the
farmer to whom the field belonged, and he dug up all
"The mice have been at them," he said, as he saw the
prints of their teeth.
Now, the poor mice must go still farther, and they
scampered off to a potato field; but here, also, the
potatoes were dug up, and the mice were driven away.
They complained of the hard times, and sadly took
refuge in a clover field, and dug their holes. They
intended to stay here all winter, but the times grew
even worse, the fields gave them no food, and the
little mice were often obliged to run about a great
deal to find a pair of forlorn cherry stones, or a
hedge plum. At last it grew cold, and heavy rains
fell, and some of the mice found their holes full of
water. These were really very bad times.
The little mice hurried off to the cities and villages
and sought refuge, here, in a barn; there, in a cellar;
but still they were chased. The farmer shut his cat
in the barn, and the mistress set her trap. Poor
But, at last, came spring and sunshine, and fresh food
gladdened the fields once more. The mice went back,
dug new holes, and were again glad to be alive.