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DANNY MEADOW MOUSE AND HIS SHORT TAIL
LL Danny Meadow Mouse could think about was his short
tail. He was so ashamed of it that whenever any one
passed, he crawled out of sight so that they should not
see how short his tail is. Instead of playing in the
sunshine as he used to do, he sat and sulked. Pretty
soon his friends began to pass without stopping.
Finally one day old Mr. Toad sat down in front of Danny
and began to ask questions.
"What's the matter?" asked old Mr. Toad.
"Nothing," replied Danny Meadow Mouse.
"I don't suppose that there really is anything the
matter, but what do you think is the matter?" said old
Danny fidgeted, and old Mr. Toad looked up at jolly,
round, red Mr. Sun and winked. "Sun is just as bright
as ever, isn't it?" he inquired.
"Yes," said Danny.
"Got plenty to eat and drink, haven't you?" continued
"Yes," said Danny.
"Seems to me that that is a pretty good looking suit of
clothes you're wearing," said Mr. Toad, eyeing Danny
critically. "Sunny weather, plenty to eat and drink,
and good clothes—must be you don't know when
you're well off, Danny Meadow Mouse."
Danny hung his head. Finally he looked up and caught a
kindly twinkle in old Mr. Toad's eyes. "Mr. Toad, how
can I get a long tail like my cousin Whitefoot of the
Green Forest?" he asked.
"So that's what's the matter! Ha! Ha! Ha! Danny Meadow
Mouse, I'm ashamed of you! I certainly am ashamed of
you!" said Mr. Toad. "What good would a long tail do
you? Tell me that."
For a minute Danny didn't know just what to say.
"I—I—I'd look so much better if I had a
long tail," he ventured.
Old Mr. Toad just laughed. "You never saw a Meadow
Mouse with a long tail, did you? Of course not. What a
sight it would be! Why, everybody on the Green Meadows
would laugh themselves sick at the sight! You see you
need to be slim and trim and handsome to carry a long
tail well. And then what a nuisance it would be! You
would always have to be thinking of your tail and
taking care to keep it out of harm's way. Look at me.
I'm homely. Some folks call me ugly to look at. But no
one tries to catch me as Farmer Brown's boy does Billy
Mink because of his fine coat; and no one wants to put
me in a cage because of a fine voice. I am satisfied to
be just as I am, and if you'll take my advice, Danny
Meadow Mouse, you'll be satisfied to be just as you
"Perhaps you are right," said Danny Meadow Mouse after
a little. "I'll try."