Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
408. THE CITY MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY MOUSE
Perry 352 (Ademar
A city mouse once happened to pay a visit to the house of a country mouse
where he was served a humble meal of acorns. The city mouse finished his
business in the country and by means of insistent invitations he persuaded
the country mouse to come pay him a visit. The city mouse then brought
the country mouse into a room that was overflowing with food. As they
were feasting on various delicacies, a butler opened the door. The city
mouse quickly concealed himself in a familiar mouse hole, but the poor
country mouse was not acquainted with the house and frantically scurried
around the floorboards, frightened out of his wits. When the butler had
taken what he needed, he closed the door behind him. The city mouse then
urged the country mouse to sit back down to dinner. The country mouse
refused and said, 'How could I possibly do that? Oh, how scared I am!
Do you think that the man is going to come back?' This was all that the
terrified mouse was able to say. The city mouse insisted, 'My dear fellow,
you could never find such delicious food as this anywhere else in the
world.' 'Acorns are enough for me,' the country mouse maintained, 'so
long as I am secure in my freedom!'
It is better to live in self-sufficient poverty than to be tormented
by the worries of wealth.
Note: There is a famous version of this fable in Horace,
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.