The Young Mouse, The Cock, and The Cat

A young Mouse described his first trip out. He thought a Cat friendly and a Cock to be a frightening monster. His mother quickly set him straight.

Looks can be deceiving.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children (The Cat, The Cock, and The Young Mouse)

Cat, Cock, and Mouse

Milo Winter (1919)

A very young Mouse, who had never seen anything of the world, almost came to grief the very first time he ventured out. And this is the story he told his mother about his adventures.

“I was strolling along very peaceably when, just as I turned the corner into the next yard, I saw two strange creatures. One of them had a very kind and gracious look, but the other was the most fearful monster you can imagine. You should have seen him.

“On top of his head and in front of his neck hung pieces of raw red meat. He walked about restlessly, tearing up the ground with his toes, and beating his arms savagely against his sides. The moment he caught sight of me he opened his pointed mouth as if to swallow me, and then he let out a piercing roar that frightened me almost to death.”

Can you guess who it was that our young Mouse was trying to describe to his mother? It was nobody but the Barnyard Cock and the first one the little Mouse had ever seen.

“If it had not been for that terrible monster,” the Mouse went on, “I should have made the acquaintance of the pretty creature, who looked so good and gentle. He had thick, velvety fur, a meek face, and a look that was very modest, though his eyes were bright and shining. As he looked at me he waved his fine long tail and smiled.

“I am sure he was just about to speak to me when the monster I have told you about let out a screaming yell, and I ran for my life.”

“My son,” said the Mother Mouse, “that gentle creature you saw was none other than the Cat. Under his kindly appearance, he bears a grudge against every one of us. The other was nothing but a bird who wouldn’t harm you in the least. As for the Cat, he eats us. So be thankful, my child, that you escaped with your life, and, as long as you live, never judge people by their looks.”

Moral

Do not trust alone to outward appearances.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A Young Mouse, on his return to his hole after leaving it for the first time, thus recounted his adventures to his mother: “Mother,” said he, “quitting this narrow place where you have brought me up, I rambled about to-day like a Young Mouse of spirit, who wished to see and to be seen, when two such notable creatures came in my way! One was so gracious, so gentle and benign! the other, who was just as noisy and forbidding, had on his head and under his chin, pieces of raw meat, which shook at every step he took; and then, all at once, beating his sides with the utmost fury, he uttered such a harsh and piercing cry that I fled in terror; and this, too, just as I was about to introduce myself to the other stranger, who was covered with fur like our own, only richer-looking and much more beautiful, and who seemed so modest and benevolent that it did my heart good to look at her.” “Ah, my son,” replied the Old Mouse, “learn while you live to distrust appearances. The first strange creature was nothing but a Fowl, that will ere long be killed, and off his bones, when put on a dish in the pantry, we may make a delicious supper; while the other was a nasty, sly, and bloodthirsty hypocrite of a Cat, to whom no food is so welcome as a young and juicy little Mouse like yourself.”