The Mouse The Bird And The Sausage

: Stories To Read Or Tell From Fairy Tales And Folklore

Once upon a time, a Mouse, a Bird, and a Sausage, entered into partnership

and set up house together. For a long time all went well; they lived in

great comfort, and prospered so far as to be able to add considerably to

their stores. The Bird's duty was to fly daily into the wood and bring in

fuel; the Mouse fetched the water, and the Sausage saw to the cooking.

When people are too well off they always begin to long f
r something new.

And so it came to pass, that the Bird while out one day, met a fellow-bird,

to whom he told of the excellence of his household arrangements. But the

other Bird sneered at him for being a poor simpleton, who did all the hard

work while the other two stayed at home and had a good time of it. For,

when the Mouse had made the fire and fetched in the water, she could retire

into her little room and rest until it was time to set the table. The

Sausage had only to watch the pot to see that the food was properly cooked,

and when it was near dinnertime, he just threw himself into the broth, or

rolled in and out among the vegetables three or four times, and there they

were, buttered and salted, and ready to be served. Then, when the Bird came

home and had laid aside his burden, they sat down to table, and when they

had finished their meal, they could sleep their fill till the following

morning: and that was really a very delightful life.

Influenced by these remarks, the Bird next morning refused to bring in the

wood, telling the others that he had been their servant long enough, and

had been a fool into the bargain, and that it was now time to make a

change, and to try some other way of arranging the work. Beg and pray as

the Mouse and the Sausage might, it was of no use; the Bird remained the

master of the situation, and the venture had to be made. They therefore

drew lots, and it fell to the Sausage to bring in the wood, to the Mouse to

cook, and to the Bird to fetch the water.

And now what happened? The Sausage started in search of wood, the Bird made

the fire, and the Mouse put on the pot, and then these two waited till the

Sausage returned with the fuel for the following day. But the Sausage

remained so long away, that they became uneasy, and the Bird flew out to

meet him. He had not flown far, however, when he came across a Dog who,

having met the Sausage, had regarded him as his legitimate booty, and so

seized and swallowed him. The Bird complained to the Dog of this bare-faced

robbery, but nothing he said was of any avail, for the Dog answered that he

had found false credentials on the Sausage, and that was the reason his

life had been forfeited.

The Bird picked up the wood and flew sadly home, and told the Mouse all he

had seen and heard. They were both very unhappy but agreed to make the best

of things and to remain with one another.

So now the Bird set the table, and the Mouse looked after the food, and

wishing to prepare it in the same way as the Sausage, by rolling in and out

among the vegetables to salt and butter them, she jumped into the pot; but

she stopped short long before she reached the bottom, having already parted

not only with her skin and hair, but also with life.

Presently the Bird came in and wanted to serve up the dinner, but he could

nowhere see the cook. In his alarm and flurry, he threw the wood here and

there about the floor, called and searched, but no cook was to be found.

Then some of the wood that had been carelessly thrown down, caught fire and

began to blaze. The Bird hastened to fetch some water, but his pail fell

into the well, and he after it, and as he was unable to recover himself, he

was drowned.