The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales |
This collection of "classics" certainly is a departure from the Disney versions. The tales are mostly very dark and pessimistic, as originally recorded by the Brothers. For the more "colourful" children's stories it is better to buy the specific tales from the bookstore instead of a collective book.
This story is available in the following languages
THE MOUSE AND THE LION
Once upon a time . . . a little mouse, scampering over a lion he had
chanced upon, happened to wake him up. The angry lion grabbed the mouse and
held it to his jaws. "Don't eat me, Your Majesty!" the mouse pleaded: "Forgive
me! If you let me go, I'll never bother you again. I'll always be grateful,
and will do you a good turn one day."
The lion, who had no intention of eating such a little scrap, and only
wanted to frighten the mouse, chuckled: "Well, well. A mouse that hopes to do
a lion a good turn! By helping me to hunt, maybe? Or would you rather roar in
my place?" The mouse was at a loss for words. "Sire, I really . . ."
"All right. You can go," said the lion, shortly, opening his paw. The mouse
scurried thankfully away.
Some days later, the lion fell into a trap and found he was caught fast in
a stout net. Try as he might, he could not a escape. And the more he
struggled, the more he became entangled in the mesh, till even his paws were
held fast. He could not move an inch: it was the end. His strength, claws and
fearsome fangs gave him no help in freeing himself from the tangle. He was
about to resign himself to a cruel fate when he heard a small voice: "Do you
need help, Sire?"
Exhausted by his struggles, his eyes wet with rage, the lion looked round.
"Oh, it's you! I'm afraid there's little you can do for me . . ."
But the mouse broke in: "I can gnaw the ropes. I have strong teeth and,
though it will take me some time, I'll manage." So the little mouse quickly
gnawed at the meshes and soon the lion tugged a paw free, then another, till
he finally succeeded in working himself free of the net.
"You see, Sire, said tne mouse, "I've done you a good turn in exchange for
the favour you did me in letting me go unharmed."
"How right you are. Never before has a big animal like myself had to be so
grateful to a little scrap like you!"