The country mouse was hungry and ate heartily, but the city mouse only nibbled daintily.
"Don't you like this barley and grain?" asked the country mouse.
"Not very well, dear Cousin," answered the city mouse. "I don't want to seem impolite, but I wish you could taste the fine things I have to eat every day. M-m-m. You must come to the city and visit me. I will show you what good food is."
"I should like to come very much, dear Cousin," said the country mouse.
One day not long after that, the country mouse came to the city to visit his cousin. "You must be hungry after your trip from the country," said the city mouse. "We will go to the pantry and you shall have a feast."
The city mouse led the way through a hole into the kitchen pantry. The country mouse had never seen so many jars and bags and boxes in all his life as there were on the shelves.The two little mice scampered along the lowest shelf. "Oh what luck!" cried the city mouse. "Some one has left the cake box open."
They crept inside and the country mouse saw something big and round and brown. "This chocolate cake is a little dry," said the city mouse, "but see how you like it." The little country mouse nibbled at the big, round, brown thing. How sweet it was! He had never tasted anything more delicious. The two little mice nibbled away happily. "How very lucky you are, dear Cousin," the country mouse started to say, when the door opened. A big rosy-cheeked woman with a mixing-bowl in her hands came into the pantry. "Sh," whispered the city mouse, "run for the hole." The two little mice scampered along the shelf and back into the hole. When they were safe inside, the city mouse said, "Don't look so frightened, Cousin. That was only the cook. She was going to make a fresh cake and wanted some sugar and flour. "The cook does not like us, but she cannot catch us. She will not stay long in the pantry. We will go back in a few minutes for I have many other things to show you." After a little while, the city mouse looked out of the hole, and saw that the cook had gone. "Come on," he called to his cousin and back they scampered to the pantry shelf. This time the city mouse showed his country cousin a box. "There is something good inside," he said and they began to gnaw a hole in one corner as fast as they could. When they had gnawed through the cardboard, the country mouse tasted something he thought even more delicious than the chocolate cake. The city mouse told him that the box was filled with raisins. "What fun it was to have such fine things to eat everyday," the country mouse was thinking, when he heard a scratching at the door and a queer sound like, meow. "Run, run," whispered the city mouse. When they were safely back in the hole again, the city mouse said, "Don't tremble so, dear Cousin, that was only the cat. Of course she likes to eat mice and she is very good at catching us in her sharp claws, but she will soon go away." The country mouse was so frightened he could not stop trembling. "I would rather not go back to the pantry, dear Cousin, if you don't mind," he said. "All right," said the city mouse. "The really nicest thing for mice is in the cellar cupboard. The cat is in the kitchen, so we are safe." They scampered down the stairs into the cellar cupboard. The country mouse thought it was the most wonderful place he had ever seen. There were ever so many more things there than in the kitchen pantry. On the floor there were barrels of delicious smelling apples. From the ceiling hung strings of sausages. On the shelves there were jars and jars and boxes and bags. Some of the jars were filled with golden butter, and some with red jelly and jam. In the bags there were all sorts of good smelling things. The two little mice scampered about nibbling here and there at what they could find open. The country mouse saw something a deep yellow color. It smelled very good. He took a nibble. It had a most delicious taste. 'That is cheese," his city cousin told him. "There is really nothing better than cheese." The country mouse saw another piece of cheese that looked and smelled even better than the piece he had just nibbled. It was fastened to a queer little round stand. The country mouse was just going to take a big bite of this piece of cheese when the city mouse called out: "Stop, stop, don't eat that cheese. It is in a trap." "What is a trap?" asked the country mouse. 'I never heard of one." "If you touch the cheese in a trap," said the city mouse, "something hard comes down on your neck. You cannot breathe any more. You can never nibble cake or cheese again." "Oh," said the country mouse, trembling. "I think I must be going home right away. You have been very kind to give me all these fine things to eat, dear Cousin. The cake and the raisins and the cheese were delicious, but I would rather eat my barley and grain and be safe."
So the little country mouse went home to the country and ate barley and grain in peace and comfort for the rest of his days.