I’ve been reading Aesop’s fables with my little girls and I thought it might be fun to make some adaptations. The Country Mouse and the City Mouse was one of my all-time favorite childhood stories. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a country mouse afraid to venture into the unknown. Anyway, here’s my story…
Once there lived two mice. One was a poor, cursed mouse and the other was a rich, blessed mouse. The mice were brothers, but they hadn’t seen each other in some time. Church Mouse was always inviting Country Mouse to come over and meet all of his great friends, but Country Mouse felt poor and dirty. He was afraid Church Mouse and his friends would laugh at him and make him feel bad for being so poor.
Finally one day Church Mouse dropped in to see Country Mouse. “You look so shiny,” Country Mouse told his brother. “Do tell me how you became so rich!”
“Thank you,” said Church Mouse. “Do come and see!”
Country mouse thought for a while and finally decided to go to Church Mouse’s home. He still felt quite backward and afraid, but he really wanted to be rich and clean like Church Mouse.
When Country Mouse arrived at Church Mouse’s home, he was met by many other rich mice. One after another they greeted him, all in the same, almost rehearsed manner.
“Hmmmm,” Country Mouse thought. “I wonder why these rich mice are so strange. No one ever talks much to me except other dirty mice. They seem nice, but I wonder if they’re just being polite. I’m sure they don’t really want someone like me here in their perfect, shiny home. I’m so dirty and ragged. They probably want me to leave so I don’t ruin anything they’ve cleaned up so nicely.”
Country Mouse stayed a few days while Church Mouse and his friends served him hand and foot. Country Mouse could hardly believe it! He was being treated like a king by a bunch of mice he didn’t even know!
It soon came to an end, though. Country Mouse had lice. When all the church mice came down with church lice, they stopped being nice to Country Mouse. They became angry at him. The church mice didn’t like suffering. They loved comfort. Country Mouse’s poverty was ok as long as it didn’t affect them. But now their shiny church was dirty and bug-infested. The church mice wanted Country Mouse to leave.
Church Mouse was the leader of all the church mice, though. He couldn’t send Country Mouse away after he’d invited him so many times. He loved his brother despite his filth. He wanted to make his brother clean.
Besides, now all the mice needed cleaned. They were all dirty. Somehow their riches and comfort couldn’t save them from being the rodents they really were underneath.
Church Mouse did not call a meeting. He did not ask advice. He saw the pain and suffering of his friends and he decided to do what only a very brave and noble mouse could do. Church Mouse sat down at the front of the church and told all the mice to form a line. One by one he sat with each mouse and he washed their fur. He picked the nits out and he spoke softly into their ears about forgiveness and grace until they were only angry at themselves for how they’d treated Country Mouse.
Then the mice were finally actually clean. They were truly shiny now – inside and out. Church Mouse blessed them all individually and told them to play nice with the poor mice they were sure to meet outside. “Invite them all,” Church Mouse instructed. “Don’t be afraid. I will clean them like I cleaned you. I don’t want anyone to miss the feast I’m preparing!”
The church mice listened because they knew their leader loved them. The poor mice became rich and the dirty mice became clean. And they lived happily forever after.
Church Mouse’s name was Jesus.