Little Mouse Sees the World
Squeaky was a little gray mouse, who lived with his mother in a dark hole in a cellar.
One day he came running to his mother. He was so frightened that his tail shook.
"Oh, Squeaky," said his mother, "what has happened? Why do you shake so?"
"Mother," answered Squeaky, "I have been out to see the world."
"I was tired of staying in our little dark home. So I went to the barnyard. There I saw a beautiful animal which looks a little like me."
"Looks like you!" said Mother Mouse.
"No, no, Squeaky. There is no animal in the barnyard that looks like you."
"Yes, mother," said Squeaky. "It really does. It has a smooth gray coat like mine, but it is much bigger than I am."
Mother Mouse began to be frightened, too.
"Go on, Squeaky," she said. "Tell me more about this animal."
Squeaky went on. "It was sitting in the sun and singing a little song. It looked so kind that I wanted to talk to it. I thought it would like little mice."
"Oh, oh! My dear little Squeaky!" cried Mother Mouse."That is the terrible cat. She does like little mice. She likes to eat them. I hope you didn't talk to her?"
"No, mother," said Squeaky. "I did not have time, for just then I saw another animal. How it frightened me!"
"Tell me about this strange beast," said Mother Mouse.
Squeaky said,"He has a long, sharp nose and a strange red chin that shakes when he walks. He looked very fierce. Oh, my! How he frightened me!"
Mother Mouse thought and thought.
What animal could that be? It must be some terrible beast that she had never seen. But Squeaky went on talking.
"He has something red on top of his head, and he has only two legs. He made a terrible noise. Cock-a-doodle-do! I ran away!"
Then Mother laughed so hard that she almost cried.
"Oh, oh!" she said. "What a funny little mouse you are! That is only the rooster. He would not hurt a poor little mouse. Oh, oh! How very funny!" Squeaky did not think it was funny.
"But, mother," he said, "the cat looked so kind, and the rooster looked so very fierce. How could I tell which one would hurt me?"
Mother Mouse stopped laughing and said, "Remember, Squeaky, it is never safe to talk to strange animals. You can't tell by their looks which ones are kind."