In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Aesop's Fables: The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

35. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse - synopsis

Town Mouse visits his cousin in the country. Country Mouse has collected lots of food ready for the visit, but Town Mouse turns his nose up at it. Town Mouse claims that the food and lifestyle in town is much better, so Country Mouse agrees to travel back with him.

Country Mouse finds out that the house where Town Mouse lives is indeed warm and comfortable and full of beautiful food. However, it is also full of people, one of whom wants to suck the mice up in a vacuum cleaner. Despite the luxurious food, Country Mouse runs back to his home, where he can eat in safety.

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse - supporting resources:

  1. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse - print story
  2. Complete Teacher's Notes

Story transcipt - The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Town Mouse was very fond of his own appearance.

“I shall visit my friend Country Mouse!” he announced one morning, waxing his whiskers with a dab of butter and admiring his reflection in the teapot. “And he shall see what a very fine mouse I am!” and with a hop and a skip he straightened his bow tie and scurried off to catch the 10.17 packing crate bound for Paddington station.

Meanwhile, deep in the trunk of an old chestnut tree, Country Mouse was busy dusting and tidying, cleaning and sweeping and cooking an extra special hotpot of beans and corn to welcome his cousin from the city. He had been collecting food all week to celebrate.

There was a loud rap at the door and Country Mouse took off his apron and scampered over to greet his friend. There on the doorstep stood Town Mouse looking very smart indeed in his pin-stripe suit and bowler hat.

He handed Country Mouse his gloves and bag, looked down his long nose and said “What a very small house you have dear chandeliers, no Persian velvet cushion to rest upon?”

Country Mouse smiled, he was very fond of Town Mouse and he ignored his snooty remarks - he knew that he didn’t mean to be rude.

“Come and sit down, dear cousin. You must be tired and hungry from your journey,” he said, pulling out a little acorn stool for him to sit on.

“What no napkins? silver service?” sniffed Town Mouse. “No scented bowl to wash my paws?”

Country Mouse smiled again and served up the hot soup and barley-seed bread.

“What is this food?” scoffed Town Mouse. “No caviar? No steak tartare? No pickled herring and horse-radish sauce?! Come my friend, this instant! We’re off to the city and I shall show you how to live!”

It was late that night when they arrived at Town Mouse’s House and as they crept along the hall to the grand dining room Country Mouse felt the soft wool carpet under his tired little paws and the warm glow of the fire and he remembered the cold, bitter wind that blew through his country tree cottage.

And how his little eyes beamed and his whiskers twitched at the sight of the left over feast that was laid out on the table for them to gobble up!

There were soufflés and sandwiches, savoury flans and pastries. There were jellies and trifles and fresh cream cakes and a MOUNTAIN of meringues...

“Couthin...Ib neber seen such a banquet as thith!” cried Country Mouse.

“But this is how you could feast EVERY night my friend” laughed Town Mouse.

The two little mice had a very merry time...

Then all of a sudden there was a thunderous ROAR!

‘Wwwwwwwhat’s that terrible noise, cousin?!” stammered Country Mouse.

“H-h-h-h-hoover?!” cried the terrified little mouse.

“Yes...oh and the Humans...”

And just at that moment the door burst open and in marched a team of kitchen staff with brooms and mops.

‘WHAT EEZ ZEES?!” shouted the French Chef. ‘MEESES! Quick hoover zem up!”

“Yikes!” squeaked Country Mouse as they scampered down the table leg and through a crack in the floorboards. “I’m off!” he cried as he scurried off under the door.

“So soon?” called Town Mouse. “No fabulous food? No smart city life?”

“No, no, dear cousin,” called Country Mouse over his shoulder. “And no loud scary monsters to gobble me up! It’s the simple, safe life at home for me...not the rich, dangerous high life!”

Programmes to download

Programmes to download at any time

Download programmes

A collection of programmes to download as mp3 files at any time. Includes dance and music.



Current podcasts

See all School Radio and other Learning podcasts available from the BBC Podcast Directory.

Contact us

Contact us

Contact us

We are always pleased to receive your feedback, suggestions and pupils' work.

'War Horse' by Michael Morpurgo

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

War Horse

All 10 episodes of Michael Morpurgo's famous story are now available to listen to online.

'Carrie's War' by Nina Bawden

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden

Carrie's War

Catch up on 'Carrie's War' by Nina Bawden. All 10 episodes are now available to listen to online.

Perform our School Musicals

Perform our School Musicals

School Musicals

Our performance scripts for 9 to 11s, complete with music, songs and special effects to download.

Macbeth for mobile and tablet

Macbeth videos for mobile and tablet

Macbeth animations

Watch Macbeth animated in 8 short video episodes for mobile/tablet. See the Teacher Notes.

Curriculum for Excellence

100 years since World War 1

WW1 Performance Pack

WW1 Performance Pack

Commemorate 100 years since WW1 by staging our specially-written play 'Archie Dobson's War'.

Private Peaceful - listen now!

Click to listen to Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful

All 13 episodes of Michael Morpurgo's moving WW1 story are available to listen to online.

Teacher's notes

Teacher's Notes

Online Teacher's Notes

Notes to support the programmes including details of all the series content.