The Lion and the Mouse

Now I will tell you a story that is even more full of danger and adventure than the fable about mice in the city. This is a story about mice who live in the jungle!

Once upon a time there was a tribe of mice named the Mic-o-say. The chief and his wife were parents to a rebellious teenage daughter named Micala. Micala was always getting herself into trouble because she always did the opposite of what her parents told her to do. Despite her rebelliousness, the chief loved his daughter and always feared for her safety. The chief was troubled most by Micala's tendency to venture off into the jungle without informing any of the tribesmice. The chief tried to persuade his daughter to stay in sight by reasoning with her. He told her that the jungle was very dangerous and full of creatures much bigger than themselves, like snakes, pumas, and above all, lions! Micala nodded her head agreeably but did not reveal what she was really thinking. Michaela still had so much she wanted to explore.

That night, Michaela snuck out of the nest while her family was in a deep sleep. Once she scurried away from the outskirts of the village, she decided she would explore a part of the jungle that she had never set foot on. Her curiosity heightened when she heard a loud snoring noise coming from the bushes. The noise was so loud that it shook the ground every time she heard it. The little mouse crept closer to the source of the noise. To her astonishment, the noise was a product of the biggest beast she had ever seen, the lion! A rush of fear spread through her furry little body from her tail all the way to her whiskers! In a panic, and not thinking straight, Micala scurried over the huge lion to escape. In a second, two furious brown eyes opened. Micala turned and ran but just when she thought she had escaped the lion's gaze, a giant paw snatched her up off the ground. The lion squeezed her in his paw and brought her to his face. He opened his mouth and bared a complete set of sharp, gleaming white teeth. "How dare you wake me up from my nap!" growled the angry lion. "I shall have you for a midnight snack." In a split second, Micala's life flashed before her eyes. She thought about how her parents had been right about wandering off from the village. "Please don't eat me!" Micala squeaked. "I'm still very young and have a long life that I would like to live. Let me go home to my family. If you do, then I will repay you for sparing my life!" The lion let out a thundering laugh. "What could you ever do to repay me! You are just an insignificant mouse. I will let you go since I am feeling generous." The little mouse bolted out of the lion's paw and ran back to the village as fast as her little paws could carry her.

When Micala got back to her nest, she was so jittery and nervous from her encounter that she woke up one of the guards in the tribe. The guard turned her immediately into her sleeping parents. Her dad, the chief was furious when he found out that she had been gone all night. Her father demanded an explanation for her mutinous decision. Through tears, Micala sobbed and revealed her near-death experience with a lion. As punishment, the chief told her that she had to share her experience with the whole village the next morning. He thought that her sharing her experience with the village served two purposes. It would humiliate her in front of everyone and make an example out of what happens to mice if they make the same choice that she made.

The next morning, every mouse in the tribe gathered around for a meeting. Micala stepped up and spilled every detail of what happened to her last night. She told them that she was lucky that the lion let her go. She even disclosed the promise she made to the lion if he would let her go. Everyone was surprised most of all at the lion's merciful decision.

Weeks passed by and Micala was on her best behavior. She had clearly demonstrated to everyone that she learned her lesson from her dangerous encounter, but the peacefulness of the day was interrupted by a loud roar off in the distance. Micala immediately recognized the voice of the lion that she ran into weeks ago. Then another familiar roar followed, sounding very distressed. Micala told her father that she must go investigate what was wrong with the lion. Her father agreed that she should go investigate because of the agreement she had made with the lion. However, he advised that she examine from afar. The little mouse ran as fast as she could toward the roar with part of the tribe and the chief following close behind. She hid behind a bush and watched in amazement as two hunters threw a net over the lion. The two hunters left the lion trapped in the net and ran off. Micala crept out of the bush and to the net where the lion was trapped.  She explained, "I didn't forget the promise that I made." She then gnawed at the rope with her little teeth and cut a hole in the net. Her father and part of the tribe came to her aid and followed her lead. In no time at all, the mice had cut the rope so much that the lion could escape. "You laughed at me when I said that I could repay you. Now you can see that even a small mouse can help a lion!" said Micala.

Wow, what a brave mouse Micala was! I think this story is even more meaningful because a giant cat spares a mouse's life and the mouse saves a cat's life.

Author's note: The original story started out with a lion sleeping in the forest with a mouse suddenly running over him to wake him up. In my story, I come up with a reason for a mouse to go near a lion in the first place.  I chose a rebellious teenage mouse, named Micala, as my character. The original story does not give the mouse or the lion a name at all. I added on to the original story by creating a plot in the beginning to explain why a mouse might be wandering in the forest. I also changed the story by describing the emotions that were going through Micala's head during her encounter with the lion. In the original story, there is only dialogue. I expanded the dialogue in my story to give the characters a bit more personality. Also, I made the lion speak whereas in the original story the lion does not speak at all. Next I added on a whole other part to the story when I describe Micala's visit back to the village with her parents and tribe members. I wanted to make it obvious that it was a big deal that the lion let her go free. I also wanted to emphasize that the mice in the village were aware of her deal with the lion. This awareness would bring some of the mice to the Lion's aid with Micala later in the story. In the original story, the mouse saved the lion from the hunter's net. I changed my story by adding other mice from the village to come to the rescue of the lion as well. I kept the same moral to the story.

Image information: The Lion and the Mouse
    Aesop for Children
(translator not identified), 1919. Illustrations by Milo Winter (1886-1956). Weblink

Story: The Lion and the Mouse

Websource: Aesopica

Year Published Aesop for Children 1919

Author: translator not identified