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1001 Stories Collection

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

1001 townmouseandthecountrymouse
Added on 08th July 2020

Oral tradition Ancient Greek fable

Europe Animals Fables
1001 , Audio

Aesop's fable suggests that it is better to live happily with a little than to have a lot but be unhappy.

Story

A sophisticated town mouse visits his cousin in the country. After scoffing at his simple rural lifestyle, the town mouse invites his cousin to visit him in the city. However, the country mouse soon learns the cost of his cousin’s luxurious life.

Why we chose it

Animal fables were used to teach moral lessons in many cultures. This is one of Aesop’s better known stories. The original morals may seem dated today but children love to suggest morals of their own.

Where it came from

Aesop is thought to have been an ex-slave and storyteller, active in Greece around 620 to 560 BCE. Each of his fables uses animals to teach important moral lessons. Aesop never wrote his fables down, and is unlikely to have created all of these stories himself. The first written record of Aesop's fables came several centuries after his death, most famously by the Greek author Babrius.

Where it went next

A similar tale appears in Bidpai’s Panchatantra, although it is unclear whether Bidpai was influenced by Aesop or the other way around. In 1484, William Caxton translated the fables into English in one of the first English books ever printed. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse has inspired countless plays, compositions and books, including Beatrix Potter’s 1918 adaptation, The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse.

Associated stories

Aesop's other fables include The Tortoise and the Hare, The Fox and the Crow, The Lion and the Mouse, and The Boy who Cried Wolf.

Added on 08th July 2020

Oral tradition Ancient Greek fable

Europe Animals Fables
1001 , Audio

Story Resources

  • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse story text PDF (34.897 KB)
    Download