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Myths, History, Nursery Rhymes, Fantasy & Facts

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Books - Mouse - Mice - All ages
Rhymes, Fingerplays, Songs, Games, Poems
Online Links - Mouse - Mice
SOS: Searching Out Stories/Info - Mouse - Mice
...Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers,
...Teachers and Librarians
Reading list of more books - Mouse - Mice - Rats


Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
In performance, always credit your sources.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables (The) by Don Daily. (2007 - Ages 4-8)
There are twenty tales, each told through a series of lush, colorful pictures, which end with the simple moral, evoked in a single sentence. Children will love to see what befalls Aesop's cast of creatures that includes dogs, mice, and lions, proving that no one is too big or small to learn a thing or two.

Folk Tales of All Nations, Part 1 by Frank H. Lee. (2003)
No human art is older than the art of storytelling. Before primitive peoples could write or read, they used to tell tales one to another, and from the mists of antiquity there have come vast numbers of traditional takes which express the instinctive feelings of immature tribes and races in a kind of story philosophy. The tales were told mainly to amuse, but they contain the key to the ideas and powers of thought, the customs and beliefs, of the primitive mind.

Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse / Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride (Chester Cricket and His Friends) by George Selden.
In this prequel to the Newbery Honor book The Cricket in Times Square, "the characters of these quintessential New Yorkers are as vibrant and joyful as they ever were," wrote PW. Ages 8-up.

Heather and Broom Tales of the Scottish Highlands. "The Lass That Couldn't Be Frighted" (Durris) (goblin, millstones, mouse) 61-79, nic Leodhas.

How the Manx cat lost its tail and other Manx folk stories. "Jack & the Purr Mouse," 91-93. (1990 - Ages 4-8)
In this humorous retelling of the Manx cat's heritage, Stevens tells about a cat that leaps onto the ark just as Noah slams the door, losing his tail in the process. Full color.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give...) by Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond (illus.)
Who would ever suspect that a tiny little mouse could wear out an energetic young boy? Well, if you're going to go around giving an exuberantly bossy rodent a cookie, you'd best be prepared to do one or two more favors for it before your day is through. For example, he'll certainly need a glass of milk to wash down that cookie, won't he? And you can't expect him to drink the milk without a straw, can you?...

Jumping Mouse and the Great Mountain: A Native American Folk Tale by Kathy Morris
Luminously illustrated and heartwarming, this modern retelling of the classic Native American tale follows Jumping Mouse's adventures as he searches for meaning in a magical world.

Kalilah and Dimnah Stories for Young Adults (Islamic Classics for Young Adults)
A masterpiece of Persian literature in its most elaborate style, it was written in Sanskrit over 2500 years ago and translated from Sanskrit to Pahlavi to Arabic and, finally in 1144 C.E. to Persian which is the basis of this English translation. The names Kalilah and Dimnah are the names of two jackals who are advisors to the lion king. It is also believed that these stories formed the basis for Aesop's Fables.

King (The), the Mice and the Cheese (Beginner Books) by Nancy Gurley
Illus. in full color. A king's struggle to keep mice from devouring his favorite food makes "an amusing circular tale. Lively pictures."--New York Times Book Review. 

Little Mouse (The), the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (Child's Play Library), The (Child's Plays Intl, Singapore by Don Wood.
The soft and hard cover versions, published in 1984, have been extensively reviewed, and have sold over 1,000,000 copies.

Mitten (The) - 20th Anniversary Edition by Jan Brett.
A Ukrainian boy named Nicki wants his grandmother Baba to knit snow-white mittens for him. She warns her grandson that a white mitten will be hard to find if he loses it in the snow, but of course he promptly does just that! What happens next is the surprising part, as a mole takes refuge in the lost mitten, then a rabbit, then a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, and a fox. If you think the mitten might be a wee bit stretched out at this point, just wait.

Mitten (The) by Alvin Tresselt
Deep in the woods on the coldest day of winter a little boy drops his mitten. And that lost mitten stretches and stretches -- and stretches -- to provide shelter for many woodland creatures. A Ukrainian folk tale.

Mouse (The) and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
"Pb-pb-b-b-b. Pb-pb-b-b-b." With these magic vocables, Ralph the mouse revs up a dream come true--his very own motorcycle. Living in a knothole in a hotel room, young Ralph has seen plenty of families come and go, some more generous with their crumbs than others. But when young Keith and his parents check into the hotel, Ralph gets his first chance to check out. He has always fantasized about venturing beyond the second floor, maybe even outside...

Mouse Bride (The): A Chinese Folktale by Lesley Liu.
Father Mouse wishes to arrange a marriage for his daughter with the mightiest creature in the world. He first approaches the Sun, then the Cloud, then the Wind and then the Wall. In the end, he learns that the mouse is the mightiest of all. English/Chinese (traditional characters). A mouse goes to the sun, cloud, wind, and wall in search of the strongest husband for his daughter, only to find him among his own kind.

Mousetrap by Patricia Reed. (2005)
A story about three cats, Rex, Tiger, and Kale who are soul winners. The three soul winners work together to help Morris the Mouse receive his salvation.

Panchatantra: The Complete Version
Panchatantra, is perhaps the oldest collection of Indian Fables still surviving. It is written around 200BC by the great Hindu Scholar Pandit Vishnu Sharma. Panchatantra means "the five books".It is a "Nitishastra" which means book of wise conduct in life. The book is written in the form of simple stories and each story has a moral and philosophical theme which has stood the test of time in modern age of atomic fear and madness.

Pancha Tantra - Five Wise Lessons: A Vivid Retelling if India's Most Famous Collection of Fables
Pancha Tantra, India's famous collection of fables has enthralled audiences for centuries. Full of humor, wit, and wisdom, they combine artfully to convey basic life lessons.

Parent's Guide to Storytelling (A): How to Make Up New Stories and Retell Old Favorites ("Ms. Mouse Needs a Friend") by Margaret Read MacDonald.
Telling a story is made effortless with this diverse collection of stories that has hints and techniques to help with remembering and retelling them. This beginner's guide includes bedtime stories, folktales, scary stories, improvisational ideas, storytime activities, and more. MacDonald has regaled kids all over the world with stories and here shares her tried-and-true storytelling methods.

Play Me a Story: Nine Tales About Musical Instruments by Naomi Adler. (1997)
Nine tales, each one from a different country, show the power of music to transform the lives of its audience and its performers. The tales are nicely varied, including the familiar story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, which begins the collection, as well as a pourquoi tale from Mongolia, a cautionary tale from the Hopi, and a Greek myth. Easily be understood by middle-school readers and are suitable for reading aloud.

Rumi Stories for Young Adults (Islamic Classics for Young Adults) by Muhammad Nur Abdus Saslam. (2000 - YA)
This series of stories for young adults is to encourage young people to turn to an important literary heritage. This series is recommended for children 13-18 years old although the stories can be read to younger children. The stories here are adapted from the writtings of Rumi.

Russian Fairy Tales, collection by Alexander Nikolayevi Afanasyev and Aleksandr A. Afanasiev. (1976 - Ages 9-12)
Nearly 200 characteristic and colorful traditional folk and fairy tales are brought together in the only comprehensive edition available in English. Of the original 1945 edition, Eudora Welty wrote, "These Russian tales are rambunctious, full-blooded and temperamental. They are tense with action, magical and human, and move in a kind of cyclone of speed....These tales are gorgeous."

Stories from South Uist by Angus MacLellan tr. Campbell. (1998)
This collection of forty-two stories covers every type of tale found on the island of South Uist, including heroic Fingalian stories, international folktales, ghost stories, and local historical and humorous anecdotes.

Story of Jumping Mouse (The) (Caldecott Honor Books) by John Steptoe (illus.)
"You will reach the far-off land if you keep hope alive within you." The words of Magic Frog give courage to the young mouse on his long and perilous journey to reach the wonderful land of legend. He faces many obstacles on his quest and sacrifices much to help others in need. But the mouse's compassion and faith in himself prove to be a source of great power...and bring him rewards even beyond his dreams...

Tale of Despereaux (The): Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate Decamillo.
Despereaux Tilling, the new baby mouse, is different from all other mice. Sadly, the romantic, unmouselike spirit that leads the unusually tiny, large-eared mouse to the foot of the human king and the beautiful Princess Pea ultimately causes him to be banished by his own father to the foul, rat-filled dungeon.

Teaching With Aesop's Fables by Theda Detlor. (2001 - Ages 4-8)
Builds Vocabulary! Great for Character Education! Create a Caring Classroom Community!
Invite kids to read, write, learn about story structure and discuss ethical behavior by exploring 12 delightful classic fables.

Three-Minute Tales by Margaret Read MacDonald.
"Ganesha Around the World" (Asian Indian) (elephant-headed child/ brother/bickering/peach/race/peacock/mouse /wisdom).

White Wolf Woman: Native American Transformation Myths by Teresa Pijoan. (bear/self-importance/mouse-woman/cave/dog) Pijoan, 86-91. (1993)
With the aid of more than 40 myths from the oral traditions of 30 native American tribes, ranging from the Eskimos to the Indians of Guiana, Pijoan invites readers to take a close look at the common spirit that binds together all forms of life. The native American heroes and heroines in these myths, imbued with the strength of this common spirit, possess the power to transform themselves into snakes, birds, bears, wolves...

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For a complete, searchable list of books about Mouse and Mice
(Be prepared! Many, many choices - adults and children)
Books About Mouse and Mice


(suggested by storytellers, teachers and librarians)

Online links are in blue and underlined . Click on them to get more stories/information.
Story and game titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any of the stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Short descriptions included for your convenience and to save you research time.

1) Here are some rhymes, fingerplays, songs, stories and even a game. In addition, the Perpetual Preschool offers suggestions for art, science, etc. It is a terrific site for all types of themes folks. Take a look at the main site when you have a chance. From Perpetual Preschool.

"Hickory, dickory, dock"

The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

"Three blind mice"

Three blind mice,
See how they run!
See how they run!
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

"Quiet Mouse"

Once there lived a quiet mouse
(hold out fist with index finger extended)
In a quiet little house.
(insert index finger into other fist)
When all was quiet as can be
Out Popped He!! (throw arms and hands apart)

"Cat, Cat, Mouse Game." Gather children in a circle. Together, count the number of children in the circle. Then play the game.

The "cat" will walk around the circle until the teacher says "mouse." Whoever the "cat" is standing behind must leave the circle and join the "cat." Count the number of children left in the circle and explain that there is now one less. Repeat until you have an entire class of "cats."Merry Mice Five merry mice were born in May.
(Show five fingers.)
The first one said, "In the Mud, let's play."
(Touch thumb.)
The second one said, "No way, Hosea"!
(Touch index.)
The third one said, "In the middle I must stay."
(Touch middle.)
The fourth one said, " I am mad today."
(Touch ring finger.)
The fifth one said, "Our Mom we must obey."
(Touch little finger.)
Finger Plays & Action Songs

3) "Beating of My Heart"

Nibble, Nibble, Nibble, goes the mouse in my heart, (repeat three times) and the mouse in my heart is you.
Hippity, Hippity, Hop, goes the bunny in my heart, (repeat three times) and the bunny in my heart is you.
Flippity, Flippity, Flop, goes the fishy in my heart, (repeat three times) and the fishy in my heart is you.
Thumpity, Thump, Thump, goes the beating of my heart (repet three times) and the beating in my heart is you

"The Mouse on the Barroom Floor"
(An Irish Poem)

Some Guiness was spilt on the barroom floor
When the pub was shut for the night
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
And stood in the pale moonlight
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor
Then back on his haunches he sat
And all the night you could hear him roar
"Bring on the goddamn cat!"

5) "The Mouse and the Cake" by Eliza Cook.

A mouse found a beautiful piece of plum cake,
The richest and sweetest that mortal could make;
Twas heavy with citron and fragrant with spice,
and covered with sugar all sparkling as ice.
‘My Stars!” cried the mouse, while his eye beamed with glee,
‘Here’s a treasure I’ve found; what a feast it will be;
But hark! there’a noise, ’tis my brothers at play;
So I’ll hide with the cake, lest they wander this way.
Not a bit shall they have, for I know I can eat,
Every morsel myself, and I’ll have such a treat’
So off went and held the cake fast,
While his hungry young brothers went scampering past.
He nibbled and nibbled, and panted, but still,
he kept gulping it down till he made himself ill;
Yet he swallowed it all, and ’tis easy to guess,
he was soon so unwell that he groaned with distress.
His family heard him, and as he grew worse,
They sent for the doctor, who made him rehearse
How he’s eaten he cake to the very last crumb,
Without giving his playmates and relatives some.
‘Ah me!’ cried the doctor, ‘advice is too late’
You must die before long, so prepare for your fate;
if you had but divided the cake with your brothers,
Twould have done you no harm, and been good for the others.
‘Had you shared it, the treat had been wholesome enough,
But eaten by one, it was dangerous stuff;
So prepare for the worst-’ and the word had scarce fled,
When the doctor turned round and the patient was dead.
No all little people the lesson may take,
and Some large ones may learn from the mouse and the cake;
Not to be over-selfish with what we may gain;
Or the best of our pleasures may turn to pain.

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Online links are in blue and underlined . Click on them to get more stories/information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
To retell any of the stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Short descriptions included for your convenience and to save you research time.
"Aesop's Fables" ("City mouse country mouse"; "Lion and mouse"; "Belling the cat")
"Big Raven and the Mice" from Sacred Stories.
"The Buffalo and the Field Mouse"
"Camel and Mouse" by Rumi.
"The Cat and the Mouse"
"The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership"
"The Cock, the Cat and the Mouse"
"County Mouse, City Mouse"
"The Escape of the Mouse"
"Little Mouse's Big Trick"
Preschool Express by Jean Warren.
"Magic Tales that End Badly" (informational)
"The Mitten" from Russia.
"The Mitten" (printable version with illustrations of the mitten filling up)
"Mouse and Mouser"
"The Mouse and the Light"
"Mouse Theme" - Pratt's Educational Resources.
"The Mouse Who Lived in the Lion's Cave" - A folktale for children from India
"Mouse, You Go First!"
Straw, Coal, and Bean: Folktales of Type 295
"Mr. Afanasiev's Naughty Little Secrets" (background of the author)
"Panchatantra" ("The Cat, the Rat and the Hunter")
"The Queen and the Mouse" - Whootie Owl's Stories to Grow By.
"The Tiger and the Mouse"
"Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse"
"Trading Places": Folktales of Types 85 and 1408
"Visit of the Mouse to the Country"
Cathryn Wellner's translation of "The Little Mouse and the Kitten" by Mohammed bel Halfaoul.

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Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians
(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)

Book titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
In performance, always credit your sources.
To retell any of these stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
Posts are entered chronologically as they are received at Story Lovers World.

1) Folk Tales of All Nations, Part 1 by F. H. Lee. (2003)
No human art is older than the art of story telling. Before primitive peoples could write or read, they used to tell tales one to another, and from the mists of antiquity there have come vast numbers of traditional takes which express the instinctive feelings of immature tribes and races in a kind of story philosophy. The tales were told mainly to amuse, but they contain the key to the ideas and powers of thought, the customs and beliefs, of the primitive mind.
"The Fox and the Mice" (Pueblo) (including melody), pp 99-100. English, 244-245; 142-143.
"How the Mouse Got into His Hole" (Asian Indian, Talking Thrush tale) 626-629.
"The Cat and the Mouse".
"The Mice That Ate an Iron Balance" (Katha-Sarit-Sagara Tale) 638.
"The Mouse & the Butterfly" 795-796.

The Mouse That was Turned into a Maiden" 639.

2) Mouse Woman and the Mischief Makers by Christie Harris, Douglas Tait (Illustrator).
Originally published between in 1978, these legends of the Haida people of British Columbia feature the wise and enterprising Mouse Woman, a narnauk (supernatural human - animal shape-shifter) who takes the form of both a mouse and a grandmother. Mouse Woman's role, as Christie Harris's carefully researched and respectfully told legends tell, was to keep order between other narnauks and humans. Both a teacher and a nurturer, the ever-watchful Mouse Woman keeps a particularly close eye on young people.

Mouse Woman and the Vanished Princesses
These legends of the Haida people of British Columbia feature the wise and enterprising Mouse Woman, a narnauk — a supernatural human/animal shape-shifter. Taking the form of both a mouse and a grandmother, Mouse Woman’s role is to keep order between other narnauks and humans. Both a teacher and a nurturer, the ever-watchful Mouse Woman keeps a particularly close eye on the princesses of the great clans of the Northwest Coast, who carry the royal blood line. From them all future chiefs would descend.

Mouse Woman and the Muddleheads
Very long ago, supernatural beings called narnauks roamed the seas and vast green wilderness of the Northwest Coast. Among them was Mouse Woman, a tiny, hilariously prim soul whose self-appointed duty was to see that everyone and everything was proper. Anyone who couldn't see the right way of doing things was a muddlehead, and Mouse Woman had little patience with muddleheads, human or narnauk. In these witty tales, this captivating creature uses tact and trickery to restore decorum to a variety of wayward characters.

3) Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan (Editor), Jane Yolen.
More than 100 stories are included in the collection, which is arranged by broad geographic areas. Asia and the Pacific are widely represented, but there are only 14 stories from North and South America. Brief comments by the editor follow each story, and endnotes describe the sources. This convenient collection is appropriate for school, public, and academic collections.

4) The Twits: A Set of Plays by Roald Dahl.

5) Seal Oil Lamp, The: An Adaptation of an Eskimo Folktale by Dale De Armond.
Poor Allugua! Because he is blind and will not grow up to be self-sufficient, Eskimo law decrees that he cannot be allowed to live. So when it comes time for the village people to go to their annual fishing camp, Allugua's parents must leave the boy behind, sealed in their dugout house, to die of cold and hunger. All alone with his songs, his games, and his own thoughts, Allugua bravely prepares to die. But the kindly little mouse people that creep into his house have other plans for him--and events take a magical turn.

6) Hold Up the Sky: And Other Native American Tales from Texas and the Southern Plains by Jane Louise Curry, James Watts (Illustrator).

7) This collection of 26 Native American tales is similar in format to the author'sBack in the Beforetime (1987), Turtle Island: Tales of the Algonquian Nations (1999), and The Wonderful Sky Boat: And Other Native Americans Tales from the Southeast (2001, all McElderry). The stories of most of the earliest peoples in the region were lost when their cultures were destroyed by invading European colonists. The Texas farming tribes of the Tonkawan and Caddoan language groups survived to tell their tales to collectors, as did the Comanche, Kiowa, Lipan Apache, and Kiowa-Apache hunters who followed the buffalo from the north and west into the Southern Plains, and the Osage who were forced west by white settlers. The retellings are simple, straightforward, and often humorous and include creation legends, pourquoi stories, and trickster tales. Coyote is a major character in many of them, and he is sometimes outwitted by a smaller animal like a mouse. The tribes from which they come are described in short entries in the afterword and "About the Stories" lists Curry's sources. This collection will appeal especially to storytellers searching for new material and to teachers and students of Native American folklore.

8) Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos by Robert Lawson about the mouse and Ben Franklin (long, but you could do a chapter).
Young readers will discover that while the good Mr. Franklin got considerable credit, many of his most important contributions really originated with Amos, a less-than-humble rodent. Oh sure, his manuscript was Robert Lawson and published first in 1939, but discerning readers ever since have figured that it's the mouse who's the fellow with the ... tale.

9) Mouse Bride = Co Dau Chuot: A Chinese Folktale = Truyen Dan Gian Trung Quoc by Lesley Liu.
Father Mouse wishes to arrange a marriage for his daughter with the mightiest creature in the world. He first approaches the Sun, then the Cloud, then the Wind and then the Wall. In the end, he learns that the mouse is the mightiest of all. English/Chinese (traditional characters).

The Mouse Bride by Joy Cowley. Includes synopses.
The Mouse Bride (Umbrella Books for Every Child) by Judith Dupre. Includes synopses.


There is a story called "The Mouse Bride."
It is time for the daughter to get married. Mama Mouse wants the best for her. Each possible husband indicates that he is not the strongest thing in the world. At one point Mama thinks the sun would be a good husband but clouds can cover the face of the sun. Clouds are not good because wind can push them around. Wind is not the strongest because he cannot move the wall. The wall is not the strongest because a mouse can chew a hole in it. So the daughter marries the handsome mouse she originally wanted to marry because he is the strongest being in the world!

Rose the story lady 1/28/06

10) "The Mouse and the Snowflake." The original is called "Nibble, Nibble" in Is Your Storytale Dragging? I've used mice, chipmunks, rabbits, groundhogs for the animal -- any soft furry rodent (SFR) will do!

You start with a piece of square paper folded into 6 layers, just like you would cut a snowflake. If you remember how to cut a snowflake by taking small snips from the 2 sides where the folds are, the story will make more sense.

Softly and gently it fell, down, down, onto the ground where SFR was. It looked like a kite, so he went closer. SFR sniffed the strange object. It didn't smell like anything he'd ever smelled, so he went closer. He pushed it several times with his nose (cut off 1/2 of top edge that will be the outside of the snowflake). It was cold! He was puzzled. He sniffed closer and touched it with his nose. It tickled! (cut off other half of top edge, you now have something that looks like an ice cream cone shape, still folded into 6 layers). Maybe it was an ice cream cone. SFR took a huge bite. t off pointed tip, where the bottom of the cone would be). No! It wasn't ice cream. It had no taste. SFR took a few more bites. (make cuts into side of cone shape, like little half circles) It was yummy, so SFR decided to push it down into his hole. He pushed it with his nose but he pushed right through it. (cut bigger half circle on other side) He tried to hit with his paws, but it made his paw cold (another half circle). He pushed it and pushed it, down into his dark hole. (last half circle cut) The strange thing fell down into his dark hole. SFR scurried downto find it, but it was gone! (palm shape in your hand so it's not visible). Where could it have gone and what was it? (By now the kids are giving all sorts of advice about what it is and where it went). There was only a wet spot on the bottom of the burrow, and SFR never figured out that what he had been nibbling and pushing on was ... (open it up) a SNOWFLAKE! I use cheap, light napkins - as I prefer cutting to tearing. And by using napkins, the folding is easier and faster.

Batsy B.


"Nibble, Nibble" is an interactive story with paper tearing that is about a mouse on a train that is hit on the head by a strange paper object. ( It's ends up with a ... snowflake.) I've changed it a bit by using a paper napkin -cheap kind that tears easily- makes it easy to have some prefolded and if you have small audience, they can make a snowflake too, after the telling is over. I can send those directions too.
Hope this helps. It's a real "crowd pleaser."

Ina V.D. 1/27/06

11) Inspired by "Very Tall Mouse and Very Short Mouse" by Arnold Lobel © 1972, Mouse Tales (I Can Read Book 2), N.Y.

"Tall Mouse, Short Mouse" by Mabel Kaplan, 2001
[This story works well told with two simple mouse puppets made from paper. Take a sheet of A4 paper and roll it into a cone shape. Flatten the cone. The point end is the nose. Fill in with colour up about 2.5 cm (or an inch). Use stick on dots for the eyes. stick on about two thirds of the way up. Add whiskers with wool, string or fringed paper. Cut out and stick oval pieces of paper on for the ears. Attach one mouse - wide end up - to a length of stick (a chopstick or ruler work well) for Tall Mouse. Leave Short Mouse as is. Hold both mice wide end up throughout the story positioning them to emphasise the differences in height. At the end of the story when Tall Mouse lifts Short Mouse up, he will sit nicely in the wide end of the cone.]

Tall Mouse and Short Mouse are very good friends. They live together in their very own Mouse House. Whenever they meet they greet each other. And they always say, “Hello!” to everyone/everything they see.
1. Greeting each other: “Hello, Tall Mouse.”
“Hello, Short Mouse.”
2. They go for a walk together.
Tall Mouse says, “Hello Birds.”
Short Mouse says, “Hello Beetles.”
3. They come to a garden/park.
Tall Mouse says, “Hello Trees.”
Short Mouse says, “Hello Flowers.”
4. As they walk along the street/footpath, they stop in front of a house.
Tall Mouse says, “Hello Roof.”
Short Mouse says, “Hello Doorstep.”
5. A storm blows up and it starts to rain.
Tall Mouse says, “Hello Raindrops.”
Short Mouse says, “Hello Puddles.”
6. They hurry inside their own little house to keep dry.
Tall Mouse says, “Hello Ceiling.”
Short Mouse says, “Hello Floor.”
7. The rain stops. Tall Mouse goes over to the window and looks out. Short Mouse goes over to the window but he can’t see anything because he is too short.
Tall Mouse lifts Short Mouse up to see.
They look out the window and up at the sky.
And they say together, “Hello Rainbow.”

Mabel K. Australia 2001

12) Margaret Read McDonald has a new, funny, repetitious, mouse story called Mabela the Clever (Girl hero--yay!) I've used the story a couple of times with great fun results with primary grade kids. It gets everyone up and moving with just a little bit of a story to remember.

Mabela the Clever is terrific! MRM has a wonderful picture book on this tale from Limba, Africa. It is a hit every time! Then there is The Barking Mouse, a Cuban folktale, picture book by Antonio Sacre. It can also be found in More Ready-To-Tell Tales from Around the World by Holt and Mooney. Another sure fire hit!

MacDonald's (Pickin' Peas) spry retelling of an African folktale, in which a mouse imparts the importance of using all the senses, is alight with humor ("'Oh, my, you have ALL arrived!' said the Cat. 'How delicious... I mean, how delightful.' "). Tricked by a cat into thinking they're being initiated into his secret society, a village full of mice foolishly learn and obey the words to the club's song: "When we are marching,/ we never look back!/ The cat is at the end,/ Fo Feng!/ Fo Feng!" He promptly absconds with the last mouse in line at each refrain ("Every time the mice shouted Fo Feng! The Cat Fo Fenged another mouse!"). Leading the procession is little Mabela, who has been taught to keep her ears and eyes open, pay attention and, if necessary, "move fast!" Which is exactly what she does once she figures out what Cat is up to, and traps her pursuer, thereby saving all the captured mice.

Originally, this story was told by the Limba people of Sierra Leone in Africa, and it really is not a tale about cleverness, because what her father tells Mabela is really a basic survival technique for going "out and about" into the jungle. After all, Mabela is not really paying close attention to her surroundings but rather to the trick that the cat is playing on the mice. At the end of the story what is emphasized is that Limba parents continue to tell this story to their children to this day because of the importance of these lessons. The book is illustrated by Tim Coffey, who used acrylic on watercolor paper textured with gesso, which results in a nice technique for representing the brown grass of the plain as well as the fur on the mice and other textured objects. MacDonald also offers a tune for the song the cat teaches the mice to sing for classes that want to enact the story.

13) The skeleton is on my site: I tell it as an participation story with 9-year-olds.
"Frightened Mouse"
Small mouse - frightened of bigger mice.
One day heard about a magician - lived across the river - could change people.
Mouse went to magician. "I want to be a BIG mouse."
Magic words - mouse changed into a BIG mouse. Proud. Didn't say thank you to magician.
Next day big mouse frightened by cats. Mouse went to magician. "I want to be a BIG cat."
Magic words - changed. Proud. Didn't say thank you.
Next day big cat frightened by dogs. Mouse went to magician. "I want to be a BIG dog."
Changed. Proud. Didn't say thank you.
Next day big dog frightened by horse. Mouse went to magician. "Never want to be frightened again - I want to be a BIG TIGER."
Magic words - changed into small mouse.
"That's because you didn't say thank you!"

This is an easy participation story.
I've just up-dated the page with a link to an article on telling.

Richard M. Germany 1/27/06

14) "Frightened Mouse" (original source unknown)
A crow was flying carrying a little mouse on his beak. By mistake the bird dropped the mouse. It fell on a bundle of dry leaves so nothing happened to it. The leaves were on a garden that belonged to a man that knew how to perform miracles. This man took care of the little mouse. When it was cured from the fright it went out into the garden again, but after going no more than a meter he ran into the most tremendous creature: the cat! The mouse turned around and run back to the house. Man find mouse trembling from head to tail in one corner, asks mouse and it tells about the cat. Man tell mouse to go to sleep and it would find a surprise when waking up. The mouse wakes up and finds that is now a cat. Enjoys its new form, stretches, moves around. Man tells it there is nothing to fear since now cats are its equals. Mouse-cat goes to the garden. A little while later runs into a cat and forgets about its new form and runs back to the house afraid. Man asks what's wrong. Mouse-cat is too ashamed to tell that it was a cat so lies and says it run into a tremendous dog. Man asks the mouse-cat to go to sleep. Mouse-cat wakes up as a dog. Enjoys its new form. Smells everything, moves its tail, etc. Goes out to the garden and runs into the cat. The cats sees him also and scared of the dog raises his back, his tail and hairs and snorts. The mouse-dog sees this in fright and runs back into the house. Tells man he ran into a tiger. Goes to sleep, wakes up as a tiger. Goes out to the garden feeling like a prince, but runs into the cat. The cat thinks this is the end for me, but the mouse-tiger turns around and goes into the house with its tail between its legs. Man asks what's wrong and finally confesses its the cat!. The man understand that a tiger that has the heart of a mouse is weaker than a cat, so if it has a mouse's heart it must turn into a mouse. Right there it began to shrink, lost the fur, the beautiful colors and turned back to a frightened mouse, grey, grey, grey from all corners.

15) One of my favorites is The Mousewife by Rumor Godden - not sure which of her books it is in, but Eileen Colwell included it in her A Storyteller's Choice (Volume 1) A story about a housemouse who befriends a dove (caged and starving), is introduced by it to the world outside, and then saves it from a cat is a wonderful story.

Published in 1951, The Mousewife by Rumer Godden has since been turned into an opera:
A house mouse who thinks there must be more to life than looking for food and caring for her family befriends a lonely, caged dove. -- and some audio clips of a song from it are online.

Brief Biography of Rumer Godden:

Book: Rumer Godden: A Storyteller's Life (fully revised & updated) by Anne Chisholm

An article about Rumer Godden in pdf format:

16) I tell a participation story with puppets that is a cumulative tale about cat and rat. Could be about cat and mouse. In the story, cat and rat are friends. One day cat pulls off rat's tail while they are playing. Rat asks for his tail back, but cat won't do it unless rat gets him a bowl of milk. So rat goes to the cow, who won't give the milk unless she gets some hay, then to the barn (needs a board from the woods), to the woods (need a feather from the crow), to the crow (needs corn from the corncrib), to the farmer for the key to the crib. Farmer agrees, unlocks the corn crib, and rat goes through the whole process backwards.

This is fun to do as a participation tale with kids. I get two kids to use the cat and mouse (rat) puppets. I ask the one who is mouse if they have a good memory, because this child usually does most of the rat's part. Some of them are excellent, recapping the whole thing with each new request. Others have trouble, so then I have the audience fill in the blanks as I go through the story. That works very well too. It's fun with one or two kids too. I end the story by saying, as cat drank that milk he realized that whenever he wanted more milk, all he had to do was pull off Rat's tail. So next time cat was hungry, he began chasing rat to get his tail. And you know, cats have been chasing rats ever since.

17) Frederick by Leo Lionni, Loudmouse by Richard Wilbur, and Mr. Tall and Mr. Small by Barbara Brenner about the relationship between a mouse and a giraffe. One of the seventh graders blew everyone away with his lovely telling of Frederick. I'm sure it would make a wonderful puppet show. In Loudmouse, one of a mother's mouse children is so loud that she's afraid the couple who live in the house she and her brood occupy (in the walls) will find them and get rid of them. But just as that is about to happen, Loudmouse scares away a robber when the cat does not do its job, and the house owners lose the cat and leave out cheese for the family from then on. Mr. Tall and Mr. Small are always bragging to each other about their size differences, but when a fire threatens them in the jungle, they help each other escape due to their unique talents, one being so small and the other so tall, and they cannot stop praising each other as good friends after that.

18) Fable IX, "The Mouse That Was Changed into a Little Girl" in Fables of Pilpay, Chandos Classics series, no date but it looks like mid 1850's). Intro notes sound like they were working from a version of the Panchatantra: The Complete Version in Arabic. In this version, the man arranged for the mouse to be changed into a little girl whom he raised carefully. Becoming spoiled and headstrong, she demanded a most powerful husband, and voila there we are in the Sun Cloud Wind Mountain Rat sequence. When she cheerfully accepted a Rat as husband, her foster father lamented "Nothing, I find, can alter nature.

19) One of my favorite stories to tell is the Finnish Tale of Magic --The Mouse Bride: A Chinese Folktale. It is neither short or simple but a full-blown story. But it is a humdinger, bell ringer. It can be found in Scandinavian Folk & Fairy Tales: Tales From Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Iceland, edited by Claire Booss--an excellant anthology.

20) The Barking Mouse
A story I have used a couple of times in similar situations where I was asked to stress the importance of bi-lingualism (i.e. also multi-cultural) is the mouse who barked. It is great for primary school.

Mother mouse warns her children not to play outside the mousehole while she is busy.
They do - cat comes lurking.
Children run to tell mother - she sneaks up and barks loudly through the mousehole.
Terrified cat runs away.
"See, children, how useful it is to speak more than one language."

If anything in my workshop handouts is useful, that is what they are there for!

Richard M. Germany


a) I first heard this story when I was learning Welsh. Welsh dogs, by the way, do sound like English dogs, but don't respond to commands like "get down!" I've also heard an inverted version from Brittany, where a cat and her kitten are chasing a mouse, who escapes down a mousehole. Mother cat then starts to bark, the mouse comes out thinking the cats must have been chased away ... Same moral. This is not to be confused with the book and film, "The Mouse that Roared".

b) The original story I have worked from came from Ready-To-Tell Tales (American Storytelling) by Holt and Mooney. I begin by describing the mouses' home in the kitchen of a big white house. As they leave to go on a picnic, Mama Mouse takes a book because she wants her children to be well educated. She wants them to know of other lands, people and cultures, how to read, math, etc. and she comments, "and you never know when knowing a second language might be useful." She reads to the family afte the picnic and then papa takes a nap and the kids go to play. . . This senario really ties it to literacy I believe.

21) A tale I often tell happened on a wet blustery day when I had to go to a large shopping mall where there was a music store that had a piece of sheet music that I'd been looking for. I had just parked the car and was scurrying to get out of the weather as fast as I could when I saw this poor bedrangled mouse come sliding out of a downpipe fixed against the corner of the main building where it was washed into the gutter. Despite obvious injury, it struggled and mangaed to swim against the flow and pulled its body up onto the kerb. I continued into the mall to look for the music store ... and as usual for me turned left when I was told right and became throroughly lost. Having got fresh directions, imagine my surprise as I headed for the glass lift to take me up onto the second floor, seeing that little wet mouse struggling into the lift in front of me. We got out of the lift and again I headed the wrong way. But as the upper level was in a circle I eventually found the music store, went in and joined the queue at the counter. There was a young man at the counter asking about a tenor trombone. When he was done, the assistant looked at me and asked how he could be of assistance. I hesitated then pointed in front of me where the mouse was patiently waiting his turn. The assistant leaned right over the counter and spoke kindly to the mouse. To which the poor bedraggled creature responded: "Got any mouse organs?"True! I wouldn't have believed it either, had I not been there.
Mabel Kaplan
Perth, Western Australia


I like your sequel to the the word of mouse ... so I'll add it too moise tail/tale. I find it a useful filler that goes down well with 11+ schoolies and seniors. (And now don't you be worryin' that your husband and I mice be movin' in the same circles ... I jest love riding those mouse treadmills in the shop windows ... and I keeps me eyes off other people's hubbys. Promise!! (pro-mice) I had another tall one but sadly it's passed its useby date as the kids miss the punchline ... (it has a reference to retreads ... and it seems folk don't get their tyres retreaded anymore!!)

b) I mentioned this story to my husband-- mabel, would you believe that he had a similar experience? Only, the shop assistant was quite surprised when the mouse said it wanted a mouse organ. "You're the second mouse to come in asking for that today!" he cried. "Oh," said the mouse, "That'd be our Monica." (er, it helps if you say that last bit with a yorkshire accent, so it sounds a bit like "harmonica") alia who wonders if there is an epidemic of mice looking for organs, or if my husband just happened to visit the same shop Mabel did... hrm...

c) Very cute! You have a wonderful imagination -- I can actually see the little determined mouse. So very courteous of you to let him have his turn at the counter, and I hope his organ transplant was successful. There was a public television special on Silent Night which had the mouse who chewed up the organ bellows making amends by helping to compose the song for Christmas Eve mass. We know him as anony-mouse.

22) Here is a story explaining why mice have just two pairs of front teeth. It comes from book #3 of Hiroko Fujita's Katare Yamanba tales -- country tales of Fukushima prefecture, Japan (this is a raw translation, I haven't polished it for publication yet):

• 3.013 "Mouse Teeth Nezumi-no Ha"

Once upon a time, there was a weasel. He decided to grow millet to store for winter.
In the spring, he turned over the soil and planted the millet seeds. He took great care of them.
When the autumn came, his field was full of ripe millet. The heads of grain were as thick as Tanuki's tail. The weasel was very happy at the sight.
"I will harvest the millet tomorrow," he thought, and went home.
The next day, when he went to his field to harvest his millet, it was already gone.
"Oh, who took my millet? I worked very hard and it grew very well. Who had the nerve to steal my millet?"
He was furious.
"Now, who has my millet?" he started to search. From one house to another, he looked in. He walked and walked looking for his millet, until he heard tiny voices coming from a burrow.
"It was so yummy, last night's millet cake.
It was so yummy, last night's millet cake."
"Well, what's this?" the weasel pricked his ears.
"It was so yummy, last night's millet cake," a small mouse came out of the burrow, singing choro choro chorori. "It was so yummy, last night's millet cake."
The next mouse came out, singing choro choro chorori.
"It was so yummy, last night's millet cake" choro choro chorori.
"It was so yummy, the last night's millet cake" choro choro chorori.
Then, came out a big mouse, who looked like their mother.
"Hush! Hush! Don't sing such a song outside," she said to her children.
"Aha!" Now, the weasel understood. He started digging from the other side of the burrow. He dug and dug, and found a pile of millet, hidden at the very end of the mice's burrow.
The weasel got furious. He caught the mother mouse.
"Why did you steal my millet? I worked so hard and at last, the grain heads became as thick as Tanuki's tail. Why did you steal them?" He looked almost ready to kill the mouse.
"Oh, oh, I'm very sorry. I'm very sorry. I just wanted to feed my children. I'm very sorry. You can take all the rest, please forgive me," the mother mouse said.
The weasel got all the rest of his millet back.
But he was still angry. "I'll kill this mouse!" He was going to bite her.
"Please, don't kill me. Oh, please! I must take care of my babies!" the mouse begged.
He let her live, but he was still angry.
"I will cut off your teeth so that you can't steal more millet!" He got his saw and prepared to cut off all her teeth.
She said, "Yes, I did wrong. You have a right to cut off my teeth. But if I lose all my teeth, I can't gnaw a hole through the wall of the storage house at the manor. Just two teeth would be very much appreciated. Please leave two teeth for me," she begged.
The weasel started to feel pity. He decided to leave two teeth on her upper jaw and two teeth on her lower jaw. All the rest he cut off with his saw.
That's why mice have only two teeth in front of each jaw.
But weasel's mercy was his ruin. He stored his recovered millet at the very end of his house. Little by little, it seemed to disappear.
When he checked the room carefully, he found a tiny hole in the wall. The teeth he left for the mouse were so strong that even with only two sets of front teeth, she could gnaw a hole through wood, ground or anything.

NOTE: It's not the custom anymore, but at the time when I had my baby teeth coming out, we sang, "Exchange this tooth with a mouse tooth." We threw the tooth up to the roof if it was a lower tooth, and down into the space under the floor if it was an upper tooth. "So that's why my teeth are like this," my friend with buck teeth complains. But in those days, I think every family had that custom.

There were many mice in the house where I lived in Fukushima. At night, I could hear them running around in the attic. It was as if they were having Sports Day every day. In the kitchen, in the closet, there were mouse holes. We tried to fight them by stuffing the holes with cedar leaves or nailing boards on the holes. But soon we found new holes right beside the stuffing. Mice really have strong teeth.

When you sing "It was yummy, last night's millet cake," I would like you to create a suitable melody. To make it sound like a children's song, you should emphasize the natural tones of speech and give it some rhythm.

Fran S.

23) "The Tiger and the Mouse" - a Cambodian folktale

On one hot day, a long time ago, Tiger came out of the woods to drink water from a pond at a clearing, there he met Mouse who had the same idea. Feeling boastful and superior, Tiger said to Mouse:

"You are such an insignificant and useless creature, there is nothing you can do that I cannot do, so leave my sight!"
Mouse, fearful of Tiger, retreated back to the fields.

It just happened that day, trappers were in the forest setting up nets, trying to capture a tiger for the king. Tiger, usually careful but feeling proud after chasing Mouse away, was not looking where he was going and unfortunately stepped on the trap. Suddenly, there he was, tangled in the net up on the tree, Tiger tried to free himself but was unable to. He kept on calling passing animals to help him but they could not get him out, desperate, he knew the kind of fate that awaited him, being in a locked cage and beaten up by the king's guards.

Well, it just happened that Mouse was passing through the forest and he heard the cries of Tiger, he approached and offered to help. By this time, Tiger was losing hope, any offer of help was welcomed, Mouse climbed up into the net and in no time, chewed the cords out and freed Tiger. Mouse, then said to him:

"You, earlier said that I was a useless creature but as you can see, I was able to free you, do not mock any animal because of its size, because we are small does not mean that we are useless, each creature posesses unique skills."

Tiger, shameful and with his head down, ran back to the forest as quickly as he could, so from this day on, tigers learned not to disrespect mice.

Note: Source for this story and four other Cambodian folktales is at:

24) Here are a couple of mice story ideas:
Margaret Read MacDonald's "Cricket and Mouse" in which the cricket considers marrying a bull and a camel but after guidance by her mother settles on a mouse!

25) Here's information from our old friend eldrbarry on "Mouse Woman and Raven":

There could not be two more opposite individuals among the Spirit beings of the Northwest Mythology than Raven and Mouse Woman.

Raven was the Creator-Trickster of the Northwestern Indian mythology. A voracious glutton, his appetite was only matched by his enthusiasm for mischief. A shape changer, he could take many forms. He loved to upset things and cause trouble.

As he sought to satisfy his appetites and often as a result of schemes and tricks that backfired, Raven established the ways of dealing with the chaotic natural world, taming it for the benefit of mankind.

Mouse Woman was the busiest of busybodies and the tinest of Grandmothers. Upset whenever the proper order of things was disturbed, she always sought to restore order and maintain balance. She was as dedicated to undoing mischief as Raven was in creating it. As a Spirit person, she could go anywhere and her mouse ears often overheard trickery in the making.

In the stories, it was unually a violation of some custom that placed someone in peril or unleased and attracted monsters such as Cannibal Woman, or Monster Killer Whale.

But Mouse Woman's help always came with a price - her one weakness - a fondness for items of mountain goat wool, which she delighted in unraveling into a mouse nest of fur. To maintain balance, there must always be something given, if something is to be received in return. Of course trickery deserves trickery in return.

From Raven we often learn the reasons for various Indian customs and taboos, while from Mouse Woman, we see the consequences of failing to observe them and ways to restore order and balance.

26) "The Frog Tsarevna" may be found in an Afansiev collection.

Mary Grace K. 1/29/06

"The Frog Tsarevna" is a Russian folk-tale. Three sons of the tzar, wishing to find wives shoot arrows in different directions: the first son’s arrow fell in the yard of a nobleman, he married the nobleman’s daughter; the second son’s arrow fell on a merchant’s yard, he married the merchant’s daughter; the third son’s arrow flew away to the swamps and was picked up by a frog. Of course it was an enchanted princess. After many dangerous adventures and a series of quests the youngest prince managed to change her into a girl again.

"The Frog Tsarevna"
In olden times, in a time long before present days, in a certain Tsardom of an Empire far across the blue seas and behind high mountains, there lived a Tsar and his Tsaritsa. The Tsar had lived long in the white world, and through long living had become old. He had three sons, Tsarevitches, all of them young, brave and unmarried, and altogether of such a sort that they could not be described by words spoken in a tale or written down with a pen. During the long white days they flew about on their fiery, beautiful horses, like bright hawks under the blue sky. All three were handsome and clever, but the handsomest and cleverest was the youngest, and he was Tsarevitch Ivan.

One day the Tsar summoned his three sons to his presence and said: "My dear children...

The rest of the story is at:

"The Tasrevna Frog"
IN an old, old Russian tsarstvo, I do not know when, there lived a sovereign prince with the princess his wife. They had three sons, all of them young, and such brave fellows that no pen could describe them. The youngest had the name of Ivan Tsarevitch. One day their father said to his sons:

"My dear boys, take each of you an arrow, draw your strong bow and let your arrow fly; in whatever court it falls, in that court there will be a wife for you."

The arrow of the oldest Tsarevitch fell on a boyar-house just in front of the terem where women live; the arrow of the second Tsarevitch flew to the red porch of a rich merchant, and on the porch there stood a sweet girl, the merchant's daughter. The youngest, the brave Tsarevitch Ivan, had the ill luck to send his arrow into the midst of a swamp, where it was caught by a croaking frog.

Ivan Tsarevitch came to his father: "How can I marry the frog?" complained the son. "Is she my equal? Certainly she is not."

"Never mind,'' replied his father, "you have to marry the frog, for such is evidently your destiny."...

The rest of this version of the story is at:

27) There was a story mentioned, "Rats," that someone had heard Ron Adams tell. It's about a guy who finds himself trapped in a grave and he hears the rats coming for him. Ooohhh ... so creepy!


a) The story is "The Graveyard Rats" by Henry Kuttner. I have in an anthology called Campfire Stories, Vol. 1: Things That Go Bunp in the Night (Campfire Books) by William Forgey. This is a paperback from Globe Pequot Press of Guilford, Conn.

b) It was done on "Tales from the Crypt" on TV, at least a variation. Well, I went to the library today. They have two Campfire Stories books edited by Forgey, the original one and Volume 3, but "Graveyard Rats" isn't in either one!
Campfire Tales, 2nd: Ghoulies, Ghosties, and Long-Leggety Beasties (Campfire Books)

28) Once a Mouse: A Fable Cut in Wood from Ancient India by Marcia Brown.
As it changes from mouse, to cat, to dog, to tiger, a hermit's pet also becomes increasingly vain.
"No one shall tell me that I was once a mouse!" roars the tiger. But an old hermit, mighty at magic, does tell him; for it was he who first changed the tiger from a wretched little mouse to a stout cat, to a big dog, and finally, to his proud and royal self. Youngest readers will take special delight in seeing these changes take place in Marcia Brown's dramatic picturing of the tiger's fall from grace. Older boys and girls will read more meaning into the text.

A rajah of ancient India is said to have had such popular animal fables collected as a "mirror for princes" to instruct his errant sons. Marcia Brown retells this fable from the Hitopadesa in vigorous style and illustrates it in woodcuts of exceptional quality. With a fluidity rare in the medium, they achieve the difficult feat of retaining their strong appeal for children while captivating art lovers of all ages.

28) "The Mouse Trap"
A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mouse trap. Retreating to the farmyard the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!"
"I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Like wow, Mr. Mouse. A mouse trap. Like I am in grave danger. Duh...NOT!"

So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mouse trap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well and a few days later she passed away. So many people came for her funeral, that the farmer had the cow slaughtered, to provide meat for all of them to eat.

So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when there is a mouse trap in the house, the whole farmyard is at risk.

(Told by Monsier Ba in the general assembly in 1949 when no one thought it important enough to help either Israel or the Arabs in their conflict.)

Shelby S. 7/27/06; 8/30/07

29) There are two I tell. "The Barking Mouse," a Cuban folktale retold by Antonio Sacre, found in More Ready-To-Tell Tales from Around the World. It is the very first story and is bilingual, Spanish and English.

30) Though first written by a man called Horace, who lived a very long time ago in Ancient Rome, this English version was composed a 150 years ago by Richard Scrafton Sharpe. It’s called, "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse."

In a snug little cot lived a fat little mouse,
Who enjoyed, unmolested, the range of the house;
With plain food content, she would breakfast on cheese,
She dined upon bacon, and supped on grey peas.

A friend from the town to the cottage did stray,
And he said he was come a short visit to pay;
So the mouse spread her table as gay as you please,
And brought the nice bacon and charming grey peas.

The visitor frowned, and he thought to be witty:
Cried he, you must know, I am come from the city,
Where we all should be shocked at provisions like these,
For we never eat bacon and horrid grey peas.

To town come with me, I will give you a treat:
Some excellent food, most delightful to eat.
With me shall you feast just as long as you please;
Come, leave this fat bacon and shocking grey peas.

This kind invitation she could not refuse,
And the city mouse wished not a moment to lose;
Reluctant she quitted the fields and the trees,
The delicious fat bacon and charming grey peas.

They slily crept under a gay parlour door,
Where a feast had been given the evening before;
And it must be confessed they on dainties did seize,
Far better than bacon, or even grey peas.

Here were custard and trifle, and cheesecakes good store,
Nice sweetmeats and jellies, and twenty things more;
All that art had invented the palate to please,
Except some fat bacon and smoking grey peas.

They were nicely regaling, when into the room
Came the dog and the cat, and the maid with a broom:
They jumped in a custard both up to their knees;
The country mouse sighed for her bacon and peas.

Cried she to her friend, Get me safely away,
I can venture no longer in London to stay;
For if oft you receive interruptions like these,
Give me my nice bacon and charming grey peas.

Your living is splendid and gay, to be sure,
But the dread of disturbance you ever endure;
I taste true delight in contentment and ease,
And I feast on fat bacon and charming grey peas.’

31) "To a Mouse (The best Laid Schemes O' Mice An' Men)" by Robert Burns
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
What makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell -
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me;
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects dreaer!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

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(suggested by storytellers, teachers and librarians - listed alphabetically)

Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
In performance, always credit your sources.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

Fairy tales from the British Isles. "Mouse from the Mabinogion (A), (Welsh) 312-328, Wms-Ellis.

Folk Tales of All Nations, Part 1. "Cat (The) & the Rat"; "Story of the Cat & the Mice (The)"; "Titty Mouse & Tatty Mouse," (English) 249-250, Lee.

Folktale Cat. "Why Dogs Chase Cats & Cats Chase Mice," (Ukraine/Yiddish) 33, de Caro.

Famous animal stories;: Animal myths, fables, fairy tales, stories of real animals. "Sagacious Rats," "City-Rat (The) & the Country-Rat," (French, La Fontaine) 22-23, Thompson-Seton.

French legends, tales and fairy stories,: Retold by Barbara Leonie Picard. "Mouse- Princess (The)", (French) 205-216.

From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs. "Cat's Purr (The)" - retold by Ashley Bryan (Montserrat/West Indies pourquoi story) (cat/rat/flute/song /drum[origin of cat's purr) 260-263, Cohn.

Little Mouse Nibbling by Tony Johnston.

Look Back and See: Twenty Lively Tales for Gentle Tellers ("The Mouse Goes Travelling") by Margaret Read MacDonald. same author.

Mabela the Clever, a Limba, Africa folktale, now in picture book format by Margaret Read MacDonald.

More Ready-To-Tell Tales from Around the World. "Boy (The) & the Devil" (Mexican Borderlands, Pleasant DeSpain) K-3. (trickster boy/devil/dove/hawk/turtle/ transformations/leaf) K-3. 76-79, Holt& Mooney.

Panchatantra: The Complete Version). "The Mouse Who Was to Marry the Sun." Fables of type 2031C. "The Transformed Mouse Seeks a Bridegroom" (India).
"The Rats and Their Daughter" (Japan).
"The Story of the Rat and Her Journey to God" (Romania).
"Town Mouse and Country Mouse." Fables of type 112.
"The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse" (ESOP).
"The Town Rat and the Country Rat" (La Fontana).
"The Town Mouse and the Field Mouse" (Romania).
"The House Mouse and the Country Mouse" (Norway).
"The Lion and the Mouse." (Aesop's Fable)

Piece of the Wind (A) and Other Stories to Tell. "Bad Uncle Rat"; "Legend of Tutanula (The)" (Native American) (raccoon/boulder/mouse/rat/ squirrel/mole/rabbit/polecat/ grizzly bear/inchworm) 37-39, Kronberg & McKissack.

Roly-Poly Rice Ball (The)(Read-It! Readers), (Japanese) (kind old man/rice balls/mice/ greedy old man/golden hammer) 104-114.

Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope: Stories, Storytelling, and Activities for Peace, Justice and the Environment.

Words of wisdom: Russian folk tales from Alexander Afanasiev's collection by A.N. Aafanas'ev with Alexandeer Kurkin (illus). (1998)

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Created 2001; last update 1/12/11

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