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Aesop's Fables by  J. H. Stickney

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THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE CITY MOUSE

A
MOUSE from the city went on a visit to a friend in the country.

The Country Mouse, with many apologies, brought out the best that he had and waited on his guest.

There was plenty of oatmeal and peas, a nice scrap of bacon, and even a paring of cheese for dessert. While the guest was dining, the Country Mouse, out of politeness, would eat none of these dainties, for fear there should not be enough for both, but [104] nibbled a piece of straw to keep his guest company.

When the dinner was over, the City Mouse said: "Old friend, I thank you for your courtesy, but I must have a plain talk with you. I do not see how you can bear to live so poor a life in this little hole. Why not ocme with me to the city, where you will have all sorts of good things to eat and a gay time? You are wasting your life. When you have once seen the city you will never be willing to return to this quiet place."

After being urged a long time, the Country Mouse at last agreed to go to the city that very night. So they started off together, and about midnight came to the great house where the City Mouse lived. In the dining room was spread a rich feast; and the City Mouse, [106] with many airs and graces, ran about the table, and, picking out the nicest bits, waited upon his country friend, who, amazed at the good things, ate to his heartís content.


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All at once the doors of the dining room were flung open, and in came a crowd of people, followed by a big dog, who barked loudly and ran about the room.

The Mice rushed for the hole, to escape, and the little field Mouse almost died of fright. As soon as he was able to speak, he said:

"Well! if this is city life, I have seen enough of it. Stay in this fine place if you like. I shall be only too glad to get home to my quiet, safer, country house and my plain oatmeal and peas."


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