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.
Check back next week for another fun fable you can use with your kids to teach them about practicing good character!