A Country Mouse invited a Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay
him a visit and partake of his country fare. As they were on the
bare plowlands, eating there wheat-stocks and roots pulled up
from the hedgerow, the Town Mouse said to his friend, "You live
here the life of the ants, while in my house is the horn of plenty.
I am surrounded by every luxury, and if you will come with me,
as I wish you would, you shall have an ample share of my dainties."
The Country Mouse was easily persuaded, and returned to town
with his friend. On his arrival, the Town Mouse placed before him
bread, barley, beans, dried figs, honey, raisins, and, last of all,
brought a dainty piece of cheese from a basket. The Country Mouse,
being much delighted at the sight of such good cheer, expressed
his satisfaction in warm terms and lamented his own hard fate.
Just as they were beginning to eat, someone opened the door,
and they both ran off squeaking, as fast as they could, to a hole
so narrow that two could only find room in it by squeezing. They
had scarcely begun their repast again when someone else entered
to take something out of a cupboard, whereupon the two Mice,
more frightened than before, ran away and hid themselves.
At last the Country Mouse, almost famished, said to his friend:
"Although you have prepared for me so dainty a feast, I must
leave you to enjoy it by yourself. It is surrounded by too many
dangers to please me. I prefer my bare plowlands and roots from
the hedgerow, where I can live in safety, and without fear."
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)