The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Aesop illustration for the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
A town mouse and a country mouse visit each other's home, to find they like their own best.
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

A Town Mouse once visited a relative who lived in the country. For lunch the Country Mouse served wheat stalks, roots, and acorns, with a dash of cold water for drink. The Town Mouse ate very sparingly, nibbling a little of this and a little of that, and by her manner making it very plain that she ate the simple food only to be polite. 

Vintage illustration of mice and mushroom for Aesop's The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse 

After the meal the friends had a long talk, or rather the Town Mouse talked about her life in the city while the Country Mouse listened. They then went to bed in a cozy nest in the hedgerow and slept in quiet and comfort until morning. In her sleep the Country Mouse dreamed she was a Town Mouse with all the luxuries and delights of city life that her friend had described for her. So the next day when the Town Mouse asked the Country Mouse to go home with her to the city, she gladly said yes. 

When they reached the mansion in which the Town Mouse lived, they found on the table in the dining room the leavings of a very fine banquet. There were sweetmeats and jellies, pastries, delicious cheeses, indeed, the most tempting foods that a Mouse can imagine. But just as the Country Mouse was about to nibble a dainty bit of pastry, she heard a Cat mew loudly and scratch at the door. In great fear the Mice scurried to a hiding place, where they lay quite still for a long time, hardly daring to breathe. When at last they ventured back to the feast, the door opened suddenly and in came the servants to clear the table, followed by the House Dog. 

The Country Mouse stopped in the Town Mouse’s den only long enough to pick up her carpet bag and umbrella. 

“You may have luxuries and dainties that I have not,” she said as she hurried away, “but I prefer my plain food and simple life in the country with the peace and security that go with it.” 

Vintage illustration of mice fleeing banquet for Aesop's The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Poverty with security is better than plenty in the midst of fear and uncertainty.


Short story for kids written by Aesop

Vintage illustrations by Milo Winter 

Let’s Chat About The Stories ~ Ideas for Talking With Kids

Independent Thinking 

1. Do you agree with the moral of this story, that it is better to be poor and safe, rather than rich and scared? Why or why not? 

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