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The Mouse, The Bird, And The Sausage

Once upon a time, a mouse, a bird, and a sausage, entered intopartnership and set up house together. For a long time all...

The Mouse, The Bird, And The Sausage

Once upon a time, a mouse, a bird, and a sausage, entered intopartnership and set up house together. For a long time all went well;they lived in great comfort, and prospered so far as to be able to addconsiderably to their stores. The bird’s duty was to fly daily into thewood and bring in fuel; the mouse fetched the water, and the sausagesaw to the cooking.

When people are too well off they always begin to long for somethingnew. And so it came to pass, that the bird, while out one day, met afellow bird, to whom he boastfully expatiated on the excellence of hishousehold arrangements. But the other bird sneered at him forbeing a poor simpleton, who did all the hard work, while the othertwo stayed at home and had a good time of it. For, when the mousehad made the fire and fetched in the water, she could retire into herlittle room and rest until it was time to set the table. The sausage hadonly to watch the pot to see that the food was properly cooked, andwhen it was near dinner-time, he just threw himself into the broth,or rolled in and out among the vegetables three or four times, andthere they were, buttered, and salted, and ready to be served. Then,when the bird came home and had laid aside his burden, they sat downto table, and when they had finished their meal, they could sleep theirfill till the following morning: and that was really a verydelightful life.

Influenced by those remarks, the bird next morning refused to bring inthe wood, telling the others that he had been their servant longenough, and had been a fool into the bargain, and that it was nowtime to make a change, and to try some other way of arranging thework. Beg and pray as the mouse and the sausage might, it was of nouse; the bird remained master of the situation, and the venture hadto be made. They therefore drew lots, and it fell to the sausage tobring in the wood, to the mouse to cook, and to the bird to fetch thewater.

And now what happened? The sausage started in search of wood, thebird made the fire, and the mouse put on the pot, and then these twowaited till the sausage returned with the fuel for the following day.But the sausage remained so long away, that they became uneasy, and thebird flew out to meet him. He had not flown far, however, when he cameacross a dog who, having met the sausage, had regarded him as hislegitimate booty, and so seized and swallowed him. The birdcomplained to the dog of this bare-faced robbery, but nothing hesaid was of any avail, for the dog answered that he found falsecredentials on the sausage, and that was the reason his life had beenforfeited.

He picked up the wood, and flew sadly home, and told the mouse all hehad seen and heard. They were both very unhappy, but agreed to make thebest of things and to remain with one another.

So now the bird set the table, and the mouse looked after the foodand, wishing to prepare it in the same way as the sausage, by rollingin and out among the vegetables to salt and butter them, she jumpedinto the pot; but she stopped short long before she reached the bottom,having already parted not only with her skin and hair, but also withlife.

Presently the bird came in and wanted to serve up the dinner, but hecould nowhere see the cook. In his alarm and flurry, he threw the woodhere and there about the floor, called and searched, but no cook wasto be found. Then some of the wood that had been carelessly throwndown, caught fire and began to blaze. The bird hastened to fetch somewater, but his pail fell into the well, and he after it, and as hewas unable to recover himself, he was drowned.

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