The story of a farm, the farm animals and a lazy little brown mouse who lived there.
Chapter One: The Little Brown Mouse
Once upon a time, there was a farm way out in the country with a red barn and lots of animals. There were horses, cows, sheep, chickens and pigs. There was also a little brown mouse.
All the animals had jobs to do. The black, brown and spotted horses carried the farmer and his family places. They helped pull carts and wagons.
The brown cows gave fresh milk, butter and cheese for the farmer and his family.
The white sheep gave wool that could be made into yarn, which could be made into clothes for the farmer and his family.
The grey and brown chickens and white ducks laid eggs for the farmer and his family. The red rooster woke everyone up every day
There were also friendly brown and black dogs that patrolled the farm and kept all the animals safe.
Everyone had a job to do except the lazy little mouse.
“I am too small and too scared to get out of my hole in the wall,” said the mouse. “I need to just stay here and hide.
“Will you all protect me from all the things that scare me?” the mouse asked the other animals.
The farm animals all felt sorry for the little mouse. She was tiny and she was scared.
“Of course we will protect you!” all the farm animals said.
So the farm animals all went off to work, and the little mouse stayed in her hole in the wall until they were gone. Then she quietly crept out.
What did the little mouse do? She ran to the dog food and chewed a little hole in the bag. Then she took the small pieces of dog food to her hole in the wall. She dropped a little dog food as she ran back to her hole in the wall. Then she ate some dog food, and then she took a long nap.
When she woke up, the little brown mouse ran to the chicken feed and nibbled a hole in the corner of the bag. Then she got some of the chicken feed and carried it back to her hole in the wall. She spilled a little chicken food on the way. Now she had enough food to last for several days. She was a little sleepy from her trip to get chicken feed, so she took another nap.
When she woke up this time, the other animals were all back from work. “Oh, I am so glad to see you!” said the little mouse. “I have been hiding in my hole in the wall all day. I was so scared. I am glad you are all back to protect me.”
This made the other animals feel good to know that they were protecting the little mouse. They were all tired from their work and went to sleep after the farmer fed them.
The next day when the farm animals left to go to work, the little mouse ran to get more dog food and chicken food. She found where the farmer kept oats for the horses and she chewed a little hole in that bag. She spilled a little dog food and chicken food and oats as she carried it back to her hole in the wall.
Next she went to the cows’ bed of straw and took some of the straw. She took some hay from the horses. She brought the straw and hay back to her hole in the wall, but she dropped some as she ran.
Now her little hole in the wall was too small, so the little mouse scratched and chewed and nibbled until she made it bigger. Then she chewed on the straw and used her tiny sharp claws and tiny sharp teeth to shred the straw and hay. She made herself a warm nest in the hole in the wall.
“This isn’t soft enough,” said the little brown mouse. She ran to where the farmer kept the sheep’s wool in a bag. She chewed a little hole in it and got some of the wool. Then she ran back to her hole in the wall to put the wool in her nest, but she dropped some wool as she ran. Now she had a soft bed so she climbed in and took a nap.
She woke up when she heard the other animals. “I am so glad you are back!” said the little mouse. “I have been hiding in my hole in the wall all day. I was so scared. I am glad you are all back to protect me.”
The farm animals were happy to think they made the little brown mouse feel safe.
Chapter Two: The Orange Cat
Soon the farmer came in to feed them. He brought a new animal with him, an orange cat.
The farmer looked at the barn and said, “What is this? Your barn is dirty.”
He looked at the dogs and said, “You have spilled your dog food everywhere!”
He looked at the chickens and ducks and said, “you have dropped chicken feed everywhere.”
He looked at the cows and horses and said, “You have dropped your straw and hay all over the place.”
He looked at the sheep and asked, “How did your wool get over here?”
The farm animals were sad. They didn’t know how they had made such a mess.
When the farmer left, the orange cat stayed. She began to walk around.
She looked at the dog food and chicken feed scattered on the ground. She looked at the straw and wool on the floor of the barn. She looked at the bags. She found tiny holes in each bag.
The little mouse watched the cat from her hole in the wall. She wondered what the cat would do next.
“I don’t think you made this mess,” the cat said to the farm animals.
“STOP!” squeaked the little mouse as she ran out of her hole in the wall. “This cat scares me! Who is this cat and why is she in our barn telling us what to do?”
The farm animals looked at each other. They looked at their friend, the little mouse. They looked at the orange cat. They didn’t know her. No one noticed that the cat had not been telling the animals what to do. They just got mad at the cat.
“The little brown mouse is right. You need to leave. We don’t know you, and we don’t want you to scare the little mouse,” said the farm animals. “And we don’t want you telling us what to do!” they added.
So the orange cat went back to the farmer’s house. The lazy little mouse was happy to see the cat go. And the other animals were happy, because the little brown mouse was happy.
The next day the farm animals went back to work. The little brown mouse ran around the barn getting into the food and the straw and the wool. while the cat watched from the house. The little mouse had to make her hole in the wall even bigger to store all the food she was getting.
When she was through making her nest bigger, she snacked on the food, and then she slept the rest of the day in her soft nest.
When the tired animals came home that night, the lazy little mouse told them how happy she was to see them after being alone and afraid in her hole in the wall all day.
That night when the farmer came in to feed the farm animals, he was angry. “What’s this?” he said. “There is more dog food and chicken food on the floor. And here is a mess of straw and hay and wool on the floor.”
“I am not happy with you farm animals. There will be no food for you tonight!”
The farmer left. The hungry animals looked at each other. The dogs had no food. The horses had no food. The cows had no food. The sheep had no food. The chickens and ducks had no food. They were all hungry after a hard day of work.
The lazy little mouse had a nest full of food, but the farm animals did not know about that.
The orange cat came into the barn to talk to the hungry animals. “Wait,” she said as the animals started to tell her to leave.
The cat followed the trail of food and straw and oats and hay and wool right up to the hole in the wall.
“STOP!” squeaked the little mouse as the cat walked up to her hole in the wall. “This cat scares me! Why is she back in our barn? I need you to protect me!” she said to the farm animals.
“Why are you back in our barn?” the other animals asked. “We told you to leave. You scare the little mouse. She is our friend, and we protect her. We don’t know you.”
“I thought you might want to see THIS,” said the orange cat. She stuck her paw in the hole in the wall. She pulled out the dog food. She pulled out the chicken feed. She pulled out the oats. She pulled out the straw. She pulled out the hay. She pulled out the the wool.
“I thought you might want to know that while you are working, the lazy little mouse is taking your food. She is taking your straw and hay. She is taking your wool. She is making a mess in the barn. Then she takes a long nap while you do all the work, and the farmer blames you farm animals for her mess.”
The animals looked at each other. First they were surprised. Then they were angry.
“OUT!’ said the horses to the little brown mouse.
“OUT!” said the cows to the little mouse.
“OUT!” said the dogs to the little mouse.
“OUT!” said the ducks and the chickens and the rooster to the lazy little mouse.
The orange cat didn’t say anything. She just smiled.
So the lazy little mouse had to leave the barn, and the orange cat got to stay.
This is why you will often see a cat or two at a barn. They keep the lazy little mice from taking food and straw from the other animals and making a mess in the barn.
Originally published on March 16, 2021.
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