Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Mouse and the Snake

A change of pace this week. Today I present a short moral story that coalesced in my mind after seeing a grass snake in the meadow last weekend.

The Mouse and the Snake

As a snake slithered her way across a field she came across a mouse sat on a log deep in thought,

“Oh you scared me” the mouse said leaping to his feet looking for somewhere to hide,

“You need not fear me today mouse” snake said softly, “I ate yesterday and do not need to feed again until tomorrow.”

Mouse paused unsure whether to believe the snake or not but noticed the bulging stomach and settled back down on to the log.

Snake slithered around the base to sit beside him.

“What is the matter little mouse. Were I hungry I would have gobbled you up before you had a chance to leap away?”

Mouse sighed deeply and stroked his whisker,

“I have a problem and I don’t know what to do.”

“Perhaps I can help. A problem shared is a problem halved”

Mouse looked at Snake suspiciously and then shrugged his little shoulders.

“I have a secret stash of nuts and seeds that I keep for the winter. I met Vole yesterday and she and her family are starving. Should I tell them about my secret or keep quiet?

“I see” Snake hissed “A difficult problem. I suppose if they were Mice it wouldn’t be a problem.”

“Of course not. We look after our own, but Vole has babies. She needs that food.”

“Then give her the food.”

“But I need those seeds for the winter, if it is bad I’ll need them for myself.”

“Then keep the food”

Mouse shook his head violently “But then the Voles will die.”

Snake sighed deeply,

“I see your problem, quite a quandary. My choice would be to keep the food but of course I am cold hearted and therefore cold blooded.”

“Well obviously I am nothing like you Snake, I have a heart and worry about others.”

Snake smiled,

“My heart is just as good as yours. My advice to you though, is that you already know the answer and the quicker you realise that the better.”

“Fine lot of help you are” Mouse said turning his back on the Snake "What nonsense, if I had the answer I wouldn't be here"

“Very well, I shall leave you to your deliberations” Snake uncoiled herself and slithered off into the meadow.

Mouse returned his attentions back to his problem and settled into a long night. He sat there thinking hard as the sun dipped down behind the horizon and the watched as the stars came and went. Slowly he began to realise what he could do just as the sun came up again.

“Aha I’ve got it” he exclaimed in delight,

“Got what?” asked Snake as she slithered back into view,

“Oh it’s you” Mouse smiled “Good morning. I have the answer. I will give half my seeds to Vole and keep half for myself. That way we both get to survive.”

Snake nodded,

“There is just one problem"

"A problem?" Mouse asked his brow already furrowing in concentration

"Yes you won’t have chance to help Vole.”

“Whatever do you mean Snake. Don't be so silly you’ve already eaten. I m perfectly safe”

“Oh no” Snake hissed, “that was yesterday, today I m hungry” and with that Snake ate the mouse in one gulp and went on her way.

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