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The Mouse Who Was Afraid 
Retold by: Catherine T. Bryce

Once there was a little mouse. He lived in the same house as an gray cat. The little mouse was afraid of the cat.

“How happy I would be but for that big cat,” he said. “I am afraid of her all the time. I wish I were a cat.”

A fairy heard the little mouse say this. She felt sorry for him and so she turned him into a gray cat.

At first he was very happy, but one day a dog ran after him.

“Oh dear!” he said. “It is not much fun to be a cat. I am afraid of that dog all the time. I wish I were a big dog.”

Again the fairy heard him, and she felt sorry for the gray cat. So she turned him into a big dog.

Once more he felt happy, but then one day he heard a lion roar.

“Oh, just hear that lion!” he cried. “I am afraid when I hear him. It is not so safe to be a dog after all. How I wish I were a lion. Then I would be afraid of no one.”

Off he ran to the fairy.

“Dear fairy,” he said, “please turn me into a big, strong lion.”

Again the fairy was sorry for him and so she made him into a big, strong lion.

One day a man tried to kill the lion, and once more he ran to the fairy.

“What now?” asked the fairy.

“Make me into a man, dear fairy,” he cried. “Then no one can make me afraid.”

“Make you into a man!” cried the fairy. “No, indeed, I will not. A man must have a brave heart. You have only the heart of a mouse. So a mouse you shall become again, and a mouse you shall stay.”

So saying, she turned him back into a little gray mouse, and away he ran to his old home.

Moral:¬†Sometimes the size and strength of a body mean less than the kind of heart it carries inside. All the muscle in the world can’t make up for the heart that’s not brave.

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The mouse who was afraid
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