The Mouse and The Weasel

A Weasel watched a Mouse go into the corn storage through a small hole. The Mouse ate so much he could not get back out without dieting. Weasel was amused.

Gluttony is a sin.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

A little hungry Mouse found his way one day into a basket of corn. He had to squeeze himself a good deal to get through the narrow opening between the strips of the basket. But the corn was tempting and the Mouse was determined to get in. When at last he had succeeded, he gorged himself to bursting. Indeed he he became about three times as big around the middle as he was when he went in.

At last he felt satisfied and dragged himself to the opening to get out again. But the best he could do was to get his head out. So there he sat groaning and moaning, both from the discomfort inside him and his anxiety to escape from the basket.

Just then a Weasel came by. He understood the situation quickly.

“My friend,” he said, “I know what you’ve been doing. You’ve been stuffing. That’s what you get. You will have to stay there till you feel just like you did when you went in. Good night, and good enough for you.”

And that was all the sympathy the poor Mouse got.


Greediness leads to misfortune.

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall

Croxall - Mouse and WeaselA LITTLE, starveling, thin-gutted rogue of a Mouse, had, with much pushing and application, made his way through a small hole in a corn-basket, where he stuffed and crammed so plentifully, that when he would have retired the way he came, he found himself too plump, with all his endeavours, to accomplish it. A Weasel who stood at some distance, and had been diverting himself with beholding the vain efforts of the little fat thing, called to him, and said: Harkee! honest friend, if you have a mind to make your escape, there is but one way for it; contrive to grow as poor and as lean as you were when you entered, and then perhaps you may get off.


They who, from a poor mean condition, insinuate themselves into a good estate, are not always the most happy. There is, many times, a quiet and content attending a low life, to which the rich man is an utter stranger. Riches and cares are almost inseparable; and whoever would get rid of the one, must content himself to be divested of the other. He that hath been acquainted with the sweets of a life free from the incumbrance of wealth, and longs to enjoy them again, must strip himself of that incumbrance, if he ever means to attain his wishes.

Some, from creeping into the lowest stations of life, have, in process of time, filled the greatest places in it; and grown so bulky by pursuing their insatiate appetite after money, that when they would have retired, they found themselves too opulent and full to get off. There has been no expedient for them to creep out, till they were squeezed and reduced in some measure to their primitive littleness. They that fill themselves with that which is the property of others, should always be so served before they are suffered to escape.

Taylor RhymesJefferys Taylor

Taylor - Mouse and Weasel 0041OF a mouse I have read, who so poorly was fed,
That her person quite dwindled away;
Until being so thin, through a crack she squeezed in
To some corn, where she feasted all day.

When no more she could eat, she essay’d to retreat,
But how was she shock’d to discern
That her bulk had increas’d, by the means of her feast,
To a size that forbad her return!

So she scrambled about; but she could not get out;
Said a weasel, “your hurry I blame;
This advice I would tender:—first starve yourself slender,
And then you may go as you came.”

This mouse, it is frankly confessed, might be needy,
But that’s no excuse for her being so greedy:
If less she had eaten, no doubt, through the crack
Which she enter’d so freely, she might have got back.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Mouse and Weasel

Ernest Griset (1874)

A lean and hungry Mouse once pushed his way, not without some trouble, through a small hole into a cornhutch, and there fed for some time so busily, that when he would have returned by the same way that he entered, he found himself too plump to get through the hole, push as hard as he might. A Weasel, who had great fun in watching the vain struggles of the fat little thing, called to him, and said, “Listen to me, my plump friend. There is but one way to get out, and that is to wait till you have become as lean as when you first got in.”