The Little Mice
Once upon a time a prairie mouse busied herself all fall storing away a
cache of beans. Every morning she was out early with her empty cast-off
snake skin, which she filled with ground beans and dragged home with her
The little mouse had a cousin who was fond of dancing and talk, but who
did not like to work. She was not careful to get her cache of beans and
the season was already well gone before
he thought to bestir herself.
When she came to realize her need, she found she had no packing bag. So
she went to her hardworking cousin and said:
"Cousin, I have no beans stored for winter and the season is nearly
gone. But I have no snake skin to gather the beans in. Will you lend me
"But why have you no packing bag? Where were you in the moon when the
snakes cast off their skins?"
"I was here."
"What were you doing?"
"I was busy talking and dancing."
"And now you are punished," said the other. "It is always so with lazy,
careless people. But I will let you have the snake skin. And now go, and
by hard work and industry, try to recover your wasted time."