One day two little mice entered an old house where they hoped to settle down and make their home, Mr. and Mrs. Mousey by name.
After looking about for some time they decided on a corner close to the kitchen wainscot, and not far from the larder.
They made a cosy little nest of string and paper, working hard all day, hardly resting till late at night. As to food, Mr. Mousey soon found where that was to be got. Many were the visits he paid to the larder, and delicious were the biscuits and cheese that he found there. It almost seemed as if things were left for them, for the biscuits were in bags and the cheese uncovered.
At last the nest was finished and they lay down to rest.
The very next morning six very tiny pinkish-looking things were to be seen in the nest. They had bright eyes and long tails, and would soon grow into brown little animals like their father and mother. Oh, how proud the latter were! Mr. Mousey could hardly keep his eyes off them, and Mrs. Mousey danced round squeaking with delight. “They are beautiful, my dear,” said Mr. Mousey, “just like you.”
“Pardon me, my love,” said his wife, with a proud look at their darlings, “they are likely to be as handsome as you.” The parents embraced each other tenderly, and then Mr. Mousey started off to find food for the little family.
Every day the children grew bigger and stronger, and merry games they had, as they chased each other round the nest.
But, alas! their happiness was not to continue. One sad day a terrible disappointment awaited Mr. Mousey. He had started off on his usual visit to the larder. He returned almost at once, saying,
“My dear, we must move. I heard the Cook say everything was to be put in tins, so we shall starve if we stay, and,” with a shudder, “worse still, she has got a cat. I fear she will hear the children's voices, and we shall be caught.”
So gathering their family around them they told the sad news, and glancing tearfully at their cosy nest, they crept sadly away.