Jataka Tales – The Village Mouse
When two rats belonging to different lifestyles interact, some startling discoveries are made!!
Once upon a time, there lived a village mouse. His house was a small hut and he would eat from the fields nearby whenever he wanted. He ate barley and corn and always filled his tummy with this. The village mouse was happy and content with the lifestyle he led and he never wanted anything more.
One day, the city mouse came to visit the village mouse. City mouse was the cousin of the village mouse and they were very much excited to meet each other. The village mouse welcomed him with open arms and gave him some barley and corn to eat. The city mouse did not like eating barley and corn as he was used to eating much better food in the city. He told this to the village mouse and he was at a loss, because he had eaten this all his life and he always felt that they were delicious. The city mouse then offered to take him to his house in the city and the village mouse agreed.
In the city, the two mice went into a hole, which was the entrance to the city mouse’s home. The path led straight into a kitchen, where there were a number of food items, which the village mouse was seeing for the first time in his life. They then walked along a shelf and started eating from a bag of sugar. They nibbled the bag and greedily consumed the sugar. Suddenly, they heard footsteps and the city mouse told the village mouse to hide. A chef was passing by and fortunately he took notice of the mice. After the chef had gone out, the city mouse took the village mouse to another place.
This time, both of them were in the store room and the village mouse was stumped on seeing the variety of food here! There were sausages and meat hanging from the roof. Tables were lined with boxes of cheese and bottles of liquids. As the mice went further, they saw a piece of cheese lying out in the open and the village mouse was about to eat it when the city mouse stopped him. He said that it was a trap and the cheese had been placed in a mousetrap so that the mouse which took the cheese would be killed instantly. The village mouse was fed up and he said that it was better to eat barley in his village safely instead of eating cheese in the city, where you had to be afraid for your life every minute. With this, he left the city mouse and went back to his village. He continued to eat barley and corn and lived happily ever after.
Moral – One must always be happy and content with what they have.