The Conceited Mouse

: Boys And Girls Bookshelf


Once upon a time there was a very small mouse with a very, very large

opinion of himself. What he didn't know his own grandmother couldn't

tell him.

"You'd better keep a bright eye in your head, these days," said she, one

chilly afternoon. "Your gran'ther has smelled a trap."

"Scat!" answered the small mouse--"'s if I don't know a trap when I see

it!" And that was all the thanks she got for her good advice.

"Go your own way, for you will go no other," the wise old mouse said to

herself; and she scratched her nose slowly and sadly as she watched her

grandson scamper up the cellar stairs.

"Ah!" sniffed he, poking his whiskers into a crack of the dining-room

cupboard, "cheese--as I'm alive!" Scuttle--scuttle. "I'll be squizzled,

if it isn't in that cunning little house; I know what that is--a

cheese-house, of course. What a very snug hall! That's the way with

cheese-houses. I know, 'cause I've heard the dairymaid talk about 'em.

It must be rather inconvenient, though, to carry milk up that step and

through an iron door. I know why it's so open--to let in fresh air. I

tell you, that cheese is good! Kind of a reception-room in there--guess

I know a reception-room from a hole in the wall. No trouble at all about

getting in, either. Wouldn't grandmother open her eyes to see me here!

Guess I'll take another nibble at that cheese, and go out. What's that

noise? What in squeaks is the matter with the door? This is a

cheese-house, I know it is--but what if it should turn out to be

a--O-o-o-eeee!" And that's just what it did turn out to be.