|218. The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse|
A Country Mouse invited a
Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay him a visit, and partake of his country fare. As they went on the bare plough-lands, eating their wheat-stalks and roots pulled up from the hedge-row, the Town Mouse said to his friend, "You live
here the life of the ants, while in my house is the horn of plenty. I am surrounded with every luxury, and if you will come with me, as I much wish you would, you shall have an ample share of my dainties." The Countr
y Mouse was easily persuaded, and returned to town with his friend. On his arrival the Town Mouse placed before him bread, barley, beans, dried figs, honey, raisins, and, last of all, brought a dainty piece of cheese from a basket. The Country Mouse, being much delighted at the sight of such good cheer, expressed his satisfaction in warm terms, and lamented his own hard fate. Just as they were beginning to eat, some one opened the door, and they bot
h ran off squeaking as fast as they could to a hole so narrow that two could only find room in it by squeezing. They had scarcely again begun their repast when some one else entered to take something out of a cupboard, on which the two
Mice, more frightened than before, ran away and hid themselves. At last the Country Mouse, almost famished, thus addressed his friend: "Although you have prepared for me so dainty a feast, I must leave you to enjoy it by yourself. It is surrounded by too many dangers to please me. I prefer my bare plough-lands and roots from the hedge-row, so that I only can live in safety, and without fear."
一只乡下老鼠，邀请它一个知心的朋友，即是一只城里老鼠来探望它，并分享它的乡间食物。 当它们在荒凉的耕地上，吃着麦秆和篱笆底下挖出来的树根时，城里老鼠对它的朋友说：「你住在这里，过着有如蚂蚁的生活，而我的家，却是一个富饶的地方。 我的四周全是奢侈品；如果你肯和我一起来，我非常希望你能同意，那么你就可以分享我的好东西。」 乡下老鼠立刻答应了它，便和它的朋友一起到城里去。 它一到城里，那城里老鼠就将面包、荞麦、豆子、无花果干、蜂蜜、葡萄干，一一都摆在它面前，最后，又从一只篮里，拿出一块很好吃的乳酪来。 乡下老鼠见了这样的珍物，喜出望外，以热烈的言词来表达它的满意，一方面又自怨命苦。 正当它们动手吃的时候，有人推门进来，它们吓得吱吱的叫，赶紧逃到洞里去，那个洞非常狭隘，它们只能紧挤着站在里面。 它们想第二次动手去吃筵席时，另外又有人进来，到碗橱里拿东西，如此一来，两只老鼠吓得半死，连忙逃开去躲起来。 最后，乡下老鼠几乎快饿死了，只好对它的朋友说：「虽然你为我预备了这样好吃的东西，但是我只好留给你自己去享受。 为了使我满意但却围绕了太多的危险。 我宁愿回到我的荒凉的耕地上，吃着篱笆底下的树根，如此我倒能够安心过活，不用担心害怕。」^#