ONCE upon a time a little mouse and a little sausage, who loved each other like sisters, decided to live together, and made their arrangements in such a way that every day one would go to walk in the fields, or make purchases in town, while the other remained at home to keep the house.
One day, when the little sausage had prepared cabbage for dinner, the little mouse, who had come back from town with a fine appetite, enjoyed it so greatly that she exclaimed: “How delicious the cabbage is to-day, my dear!”
“Ah!” answered the little sausage, “that is because I popped myself into the pot while it was cooking.”
On the next day, as it was her turn to prepare the meals, the little mouse said to herself: “Now I will do as much for my friend as she did for me; we will have lentils for dinner, and I will jump into the pot while they are boiling,” and she let the action follow the word, without reflecting that a simple sausage can do some things which are out of the reach of even the wisest mouse.
When the sausage came home, she found the house lonely and silent. She called again and again, “My little mouse! Mouse of my heart!” but no one answered. Then she went to look at the lentils boiling on the stove, and, alas! found within the pot her good little friend, who had perished at the post of duty.
Poor mousie, with the best intentions in the world, had stayed too long at her cookery, and when she desired to climb out of the pot, had no longer the strength to do so.
And the poor sausage could never be consoled! That is why to-day, when you put one in the pan or on the gridiron, you will hear her weep and sigh, “M-my p-poor m-mouse! Ah, m-my p-poor m-mouse!”