The Emigrant Mice

Two Mice contrived to move to a country that held Mice in esteem. On arrival they made such outrageous claims other Mice strangled them. Ooops.

It is useless to go far in search of safety.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Emigrant Mice

Ernest Griset (1874)

A Mouse, weary of living in the continual alarm attendant on the carnage committed among her nation by cats and traps, thus addressed herself to the tenant of a hole near her own:–

“An excellent thought has just come into my head; I read in some book which I gnawed a few days ago, that there is a fine country called the Indies, in which mice are in much greater security than here. In that region the sages believe that the soul of a mouse has been that of a king, a great captain, or some wonderful saint, and that after death it will probably enter the body of a beautiful woman, or mighty potentate. If I recollect rightly, this is called metempsychosis. Under this idea they treat all animals with paternal charity, and build and endow hospitals for mice, where they are fed like people of consequence. Come then, my good sister, let us hasten to a country the customs of which are so excellent, and where justice is done to our merits.”

“But, sister,” replied her neighbour, “do not cats enter these hospitals? If they do metempsychosis must take place very soon, and in great numburs; and a talon or a tooth might make a fakir or a king, a miracle wc can do very well without.”

“Do not fear,” said the first mouse. “In these countries order is completely established; the cats have their houses as well as we ours, and they have their hospitals for the sick separate from ours.”

After this Conversation our two mice set out together, contriving the evening before she set sail to creep along the cordage of a vessel that was to make a long voyage. They got under weigh, and were enraptured with the sight of the sea which took them from the abominable shores on which cats exercise their tyranny. The voyage was pleasant, and they reached Surat, not like merchants to acquire riches, but to receive good treatment from the Hindoos. They had scarcely entered one of the houses fitted up for mice when they aspired to the best accommodation. One of them pretended to recollect having formerly been a Brahmin on the coast of Malabar, and the other protested that she had been a fine lady of the same country, with long ears; but they displayed so much impertinence that the Indian mice lost all patience. A civil war commenced, and no quarter was given to the two new comers who pretended to impose laws on the others; when, instead of being eaten up by cats, they were strangled by their own brethren.

From this it is evident that it is useless to go far in search of safety; as if we are not modest and wise we only go to danger, and if we are so we may be secure at home.