The mouse and the cat

A young mouse had wondered away from his mother and was lost in the forest. There he was captured by the cat.

“Please, Mr. Cat, don’t eat me!” he said because he felt he was too young to die.

“Why shan’t I eat you?” said the cat who was hungry.

“Because my mother is roosting a pig and if you take me home she will give you half,” said the mouse.

Half a pig is more than a mouse, the cat thought. “Where do you live?” he asked.

“In the hole behind the crack under the wall of the farmer’s barn,” said the mouse.

“I know where that is,” said the cat reassuring. “I’ve been laying in front of that hole many times.” He took the mouse by the paw and walked him home.

Once they got there the mouse said “I will fetch the pig for you” and ran inside. The cat lay outside and waited, and waited… But no mouse came.

“If you don’t come out now I will eat the hole pig my self, and leave nothing to you,” the cat shouted into the hole. But no mouse came.

“If you don’t come out now I will eat the pig – and you as well!” the cat shouted into the hole. And waited. But no mouse came.

“If you don’t come out now I will eat the pig, and you, and your mother, and all your brothers and sisters!” the cat shouted into the hole, wiggling his tail in frustration. “And the farmer, too!” he added, hoping it would do the trick. But no mouse came. And the sun started to set behind the trees.

At that moment the fox came by, maybe on his way to the hen house. “Hello there, my friend,” he said, “what are you doing?”

“I’m waiting”, said the cat.

“Waiting for what?”

“For the mouse to come out with the roosted pig,” said the cat.

“You are but a silly bugger! A pig can’t fit into a hole that is to small for a cat!” the fox said laughing.

Only then did the cat realize he had been taken for a fool. “Oh, at least I did a good deed, walking the poor mouse home,” he said. Then he went to his place and had cold porridge for supper, leftovers from breakfast.

P.S. If you have to know, the mouse lived a long and happy life, full of adventures, and so did the cat. The pig ran away and became a circus pig. And the fox didn’t even come close to the hen house. Sleep well to night.

This fairy tale in Swedish: Musen och katten.


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