12. THE MOUSE AND THE TRAP

(adapted from a traditional story)

This story reminds us that sometimes we are selfish and think only of ourselves, but we are all connected by wonderful connections and everything we do affects someone else.

A mouse lived in the ceiling of a farmhouse. He made a little hole in the ceiling through which he could watch and hear what was going on in the room below. One day the farmer had gone to town and when he came home he unpacked and showed his wife all the things he had bought. The mouse watched, thinking of all the good things there were to eat. Suddenly a mousetrap fell out of the bag onto the floor. How shocked the mouse was! Here was a mousetrap that would

be set to catch him! He was so shocked and frightened that he ran next door to tell his friend the hen. "What a terrible thing has happened at my house," said the mouse. "The farmer has bought a mousetrap!" The hen was not worried about the mousetrap. "What has a mousetrap to do with me?" she said. "Have you ever seen a hen caught in a mousetrap?" she asked the mouse. The mouse was too upset to stay so he went to visit his friend the pig. "What a terrible thing has happened at my house" said the mouse. "The farmer has bought a mousetrap!" "What has a mousetrap to do with me?" asked the pig. "Have you ever seen a pig caught in a mousetrap?" The mouse was too upset to stay and he went to visit his friend the cow. The cow was not worried about the mousetrap. "What has a mousetrap to do with me!" she asked. "Have you ever seen a cow caught in a mousetrap?" The mouse was very discouraged that none of his friends realized his danger, and went sadly home. The next day the mouse watched the farmer take a piece of cheese and set the mousetrap ready to catch a mouse, and place the trap on the floor in the kitchen. During the night there was a loud "Snap" in the kitchen as the mousetrap snapped shut. "A mouse! A mouse!" thought the farmer’s wife and she hurried to the kitchen to see the mouse she had caught. Now it was dark in the kitchen and she couldn’t see what she had caught. She had in fact caught a snake by its tail. As she came into the kitchen the snake rose up and bit her on the leg. She screamed for her husband who came running with a light to see what had happened. There he saw his wife bitten on the leg and in great pain and the snake quickly disappearing under the door. He helped his wife up and hurried to the doctor. The doctor gave her an injection and said that she must stay in bed until she felt better. At home the husband decided to kill the hen to make some good chicken soup, to help his wife get better. After a few days she was not getting better, and many friends came to see her and to pray for her recovery. Some friends came from far away, so the farmer killed the pig to feed them all. After a few more days the farmer’s wife died. How sad everyone was! Then there was a big funeral and the farmer’s wife was buried. Many, many people came to the funeral so the farmer killed the cow, to feed all these people.

All of them were affected because the farmer bought the mousetrap. We have to care about what happens to our friends and neighbours. What happens to them affects us too.