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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesHow The Mouse Got Into His Hole
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How The Mouse Got Into His Hole Post by :bert10 Category :Short Stories Author :W.h.d. Rouse Date :November 2011 Read :2750

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How The Mouse Got Into His Hole

A MERCHANT was going along the road one day with a sack of peas on the back of an Ox. The Ox was stung by a Fly, and gave a kick, and down fell the sack. A Mouse was passing by, and the Merchant said, "Mousie, if you will help me up with this sack I will give you a pea." The Mouse helped him up with the sack and got a pea for his trouble. He stole another, and a third he found on the road.

When he got home with his three peas he planted them in front of his hole. As he was planting them he said to them, "If you are not all three sprouting by to-morrow I'll cut you in pieces and give you to the black Ox." The peas were terribly frightened, and the next morning they had already begun to sprout, and each of them had two shoots. Then he said, "If I don't find you in blossom to-morrow I'll cut you in pieces and give you to the black Ox." When he went to look next day they were all in blossom. So he said, "If I don't find ripe peas on you to-morrow I'll cut you in pieces and give you to the black Ox." Next day they had pods full of ripe peas on them.

So every day he used to eat lots of peas, and in this manner he got very fat. One day a pretty young lady Mouse came to see him.

"Good morning, Sleekie," said she; "how are you?"

"Good morning, Squeakie," said he; "I'm quite well, thank you."

"Why, Sleekie," said she, "how fat you are."

"Am I?" said he. "I suppose that's because I have plenty to eat."

"What do you eat, Sleekie?" asked the pretty young lady Mouse.

"Peas, Squeakie," said the other.

"Where do you get them, Sleekie?"

"They grow all of themselves in my garden, Squeakie."

"Will you give me some, please?" asked the lady Mouse.

"Oh yes, if you will stay in my garden, you may have as many as you like."

So Squeakie stayed in Sleekie's garden, and they both ate so many peas that they got fatter and fatter every day.

One day Squeakie said to Sleekie, "Let's try which can get into the hole quickest." Squeakie was slim, and she had not been at the peas so long as Sleekie, so she got into the hole easily enough; but Sleekie was so fat that he could not get in at all.

He was very much frightened, and went off in hot haste to the Carpenter, and said to him, "Carpenter, please pare off a little flesh from my ribs, so that I can get into my hole."

"Do you think I have nothing better to do than paring down your ribs?" said the Carpenter angrily, and went on with his work.

The Mouse went to the King, and said, "O King, I can't get into my hole, and the Carpenter will not pare down my ribs; will you make him do it?"

"Get out," said the King; "do you think I have nothing better to do than look after your ribs?"

So the Mouse went to the Queen. Said he, "Queen, I can't get into my hole, and the King won't tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs. Please divorce him."

"Bother you and your ribs," said the Queen; "I am not going to divorce my husband because you have made yourself fat by eating too much."

The Mouse went to the Snake. "Snake, bite the Queen, and tell her to divorce the King, because he will not tell the Carpenter to pare my ribs down and let me get into my hole."

"Get away," said the Snake; "or I'll swallow you up, ribs and all; the fatter you are, the better I shall be pleased."

He went to the Stick, and said, "Stick, beat the Snake, because she won't bite the Queen, who won't divorce the King and make him tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs, and let me get into my hole."

"Off with you," said the Stick; "I'm sleepy, because I have just beaten a thief; I can't be worried about your ribs."

He went to the Furnace, and said, "Furnace, burn the Stick, and make it beat the Snake, that he may bite the Queen and make her divorce the King, who won't tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs, and let me get into my hole."

"Get along with you," said the Furnace; "I am cooking the King's dinner, and I have no time now to see about your ribs."

He went to the Ocean, and said, "Ocean, put out the Fire, and make it burn the Stick, so that it may beat the Snake, and the Snake may bite the Queen, and she may divorce the King, who won't tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs, and let me get into my hole."

"Don't bother me," said the Ocean; "it's high tide, and all the fishes are jumping about, and giving me no rest."

He went to the Elephant, and said, "O Elephant, drink up the Ocean, that it may put out the Fire, and the Fire may burn the Stick, and the Stick may beat the Snake, and the Snake may bite the Queen, and the Queen may divorce the King, and make him tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs, and let me get into my hole."

"Go away, little Mouse," said the Elephant; "I have just drunk up a whole lake, and I really can't drink any more."

He went to the Creeper, and said, "Dear Creeper, do please choke the Elephant, that he may drink up the Ocean, and the Ocean may put out the Fire, and the Fire may burn the Stick, and the Stick may beat the Snake, and the Snake may bite the Queen, and the Queen may divorce the King, and the King may tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs, and let me get into my hole."

"Not I," says the Creeper; "I am stuck fast here to this tree, and I couldn't get away to please a fat little Mouse."

Then he went to the Scythe, and said, "Scythe, please cut loose the Creeper, that it may choke the Elephant, and the Elephant may drink up the Ocean, and the Ocean may put out the Fire, and the Fire may burn the Stick, and the Stick may beat the Snake, and the Snake may bite the Queen, and the Queen may divorce the King, and the King may tell the Carpenter to pare down my ribs, and let me get into my hole."

"With pleasure," said the Scythe, who is always sharp.



So the Scythe cut the Creeper loose, and the Creeper
began to choke the Elephant, and the Elephant ran off
and began to drink up the Ocean, and the Ocean began
to put out the Fire, and the Fire began to burn the
Stick, and the Stick began to beat the Snake, and
the Snake began to bite the Queen, and the
Queen told the King she was going to
divorce him, and the King was
frightened, and ordered the
Carpenter to pare Sleekie's
ribs, and at last Sleekie
got into his hole.


NOTES
(How the Mouse got into his Hole:

Told by BISRAM BANYA and recorded by MAHARAJ SINH,
teacher of the school at Akbarpur, Faizabad district.





(The end)
W.H.D. Rouse's short story: How The Mouse Got Into His Hole

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