Poor Mr. Mouse; he’s been caught ill. Lucky for him, he has a wife who takes care of him. She gives him water when he’s thirsty and spoon-feeds him when he’s hungry. And when it’s time to sleep she caresses his whiskers, which he loves. Or maybe she sings him a lullaby or read him a story. And then he fall a sleep with a smile.
Old Mrs. Mouse use to say to her husband: “My dear Lilliputian; nothing in this world is more precious to me than you.” Or she may sigh and say: “You are so fine, you are.” And then Mr. Mouse is happy because he feels warm from top to toe when she says that.
Thus care Mrs. Mouse for Mr. Mouse, her precious Lilliputian, and nurse him in every way, day after day, until he’s fit to get up. He feels a bit sluggish after lying in bed for so long. First he put one leg over the edge of the bed, and then the other, and than he’s walking.
“It’s all because of you, my darling wife”, he says and walks trembling over to the fireplace to warm himself. “If it weren’t for you, I would still be in bed”, he says.
Mrs. Mouse is sitting on the bedside and watches her beautiful husband with pride. Sure, he has grey whiskers and bowlegs, bulging tummy and a bent back; but to her, he’s still the most handsome man she’s ever met. For twenty years they have lived in their hole; and every day has been a day of joy.
Soon Mr. Mouse will be strong enough to go outside again. Soon it will be spring again; and they will have a picnic, of course, like they always do; and Mrs. Mouse will bake the most delicious butter cake; and Mr. Mouse will sing to her, the most beautiful song he can; that is their tradition.
But then the ground begins to shake. Things fall apart. The walls are caving in. Poor Mr. Mouse over by the fireplace; he can hardly stand up. A party of people come trotting through the forest, and they walk straight over their home with their big, shiny boots. Next, a foot is crashing through the roof and land on Mr. Mouse. He becomes flat as a pancake; and it can’t be good – Mr. Mouse is dead.
Mrs. Mouse can’t understand it. It’s not possible! Her Lilliputian can’t be dead? And the people just walk on; they haven’t noticed a thing; and Mr. Mouse is dead. Mrs. Mouse gets angry and ran outside, shaking her paws and cursing them.
“D-damn you pep-people!” she shrieks.
But she’s just a mouse. No one hear her, no one see her. It’s just as well or else I’m sure they’d stomped her too; people do that sometimes, to mice.
This fairy tale in Swedish: Herr och fru mus.