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Text of Two Mouse Poems

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mouse poems

Hello everybody, my name is Natasha and his Royal Highness Prince Bertie the Frog has commanded me to recite you two poems about mice. At first, when I heard this idea, I went “Urghhhh, I don’t like mice very much, Bertie…” And Bertie said.

“That’s because your a girl, Natasha. Princes aren’t afraid of mice.”

But I’ll let you into a little secret. Dandelion the Palace cat told me that when Bertie was still Royal and lived in the palace, he left all the mouse catching strictly up to Dandelion.

Now the first poem is about a greedy mouse. It’s called the Mouse and the Cake by Eliza Cook.

A mouse found a beautiful piece of plum cake,
The richest and sweetest that mortal could make;
Twas heavy with citron and fragrant with spice,
and covered with sugar all sparkling as ice.
‘My Stars!” cried the mouse, while his eye beamed with glee,
‘Here’s a treasure I’ve found; what a feast it will be;
But hark! there’a noise, ’tis my brothers at play;
So I’ll hide with the cake, lest they wander this way.
Not a bit shall they have, for I know I can eat,
Every morsel myself, and I’ll have such a treat’
So off went and held the cake fast,
While his hungry young brothers went scampering past.
He nibbled and nibbled, and panted, but still,
he kept gulping it down till he made himself ill;
Yet he swallowed it all, and ’tis easy to guess,
he was soon so unwell that he groaned with distress.
His family heard him, and as he grew worse,
They sent for the doctor, who made him rehearse
How he’s eaten he cake to the very last crumb,
Without giving his playmates and relatives some.
‘Ah me!’ cried the doctor, ‘advice is too late’
You must die before long, so prepare for your fate;
if you had but divided the cake with your brothers,
Twould have done you no harm, and been good for the others.
‘Had you shared it, the treat had been wholesome enough,
But eaten by one, it was dangerous stuff;
So prepare for the worst-’ and the word had scarce fled,
When the doctor turned round and the patient was dead.
No all little people the lesson may take,
and Some large ones may learn from the mouse and the cake;
Not to be over-selfish with what we may gain;
Or the best of our pleasures may turn to pain.

And that was the poem of the Mouse and the Cake by Eliza Cook. Now Bertie the frog, tells me that actually, when he was still a prince, there was one time when he ate too much cake on his birthday. Fortunately he didn’t’ die, but he did have to go and lie down for a little bit, even though he had lots of new toys to play with. That’s a secret by the way, so don’t’ tell anyone, especially as it’s a Royal secret.

The second poem is about mouse who liked to eat peas quite a lot. It was first written by a man called Horace, who lived a very long time ago in Ancient Rome, but this English version was composed a 150 years ago by Richard Scrafton Sharpe. It’s called, The Country Mouse and the City Mouse.

In a snug little cot lived a fat little mouse,
Who enjoyed, unmolested, the range of the house;
With plain food content, she would breakfast on cheese,
She dined upon bacon, and supped on grey peas.

A friend from the town to the cottage did stray,
And he said he was come a short visit to pay;
So the mouse spread her table as gay as you please,
And brought the nice bacon and charming grey peas.

The visitor frowned, and he thought to be witty:
Cried he, you must know, I am come from the city,
Where we all should be shocked at provisions like these,
For we never eat bacon and horrid grey peas.

To town come with me, I will give you a treat:
Some excellent food, most delightful to eat.
With me shall you feast just as long as you please;
Come, leave this fat bacon and shocking grey peas.

This kind invitation she could not refuse,
And the city mouse wished not a moment to lose;
Reluctant she quitted the fields and the trees,
The delicious fat bacon and charming grey peas.

They slily crept under a gay parlour door,
Where a feast had been given the evening before;
And it must be confessed they on dainties did seize,
Far better than bacon, or even grey peas.

Here were custard and trifle, and cheesecakes good store,
Nice sweetmeats and jellies, and twenty things more;
All that art had invented the palate to please,
Except some fat bacon and smoking grey peas.

They were nicely regaling, when into the room
Came the dog and the cat, and the maid with a broom:
They jumped in a custard both up to their knees;
The country mouse sighed for her bacon and peas.

Cried she to her friend, Get me safely away,
I can venture no longer in London to stay;
For if oft you receive interruptions like these,
Give me my nice bacon and charming grey peas.

Your living is splendid and gay, to be sure,
But the dread of disturbance you ever endure;
I taste true delight in contentment and ease,
And I feast on fat bacon and charming grey peas.’

And that’s the poem of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse, by Richard Scrafton Sharpe. I hope you enjoyed it, even if you are not quite so enthusiastic about peas as that little mouse.

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49 Responses to “Text of Two Mouse Poems”

  • drevoine wonya boyce says:

    i love it
    one day i would
    love to make a
    story on this
    web site.

  • Bertie says:

    Dear Nadine, Thank you for the very interesting story about your life and this poem.

  • Nadine says:

    The first time I heard “The Mouse and the Cake” was during World War 2, when it was recited by a young teen-aged girl during a concert.

    A group of us belonged to the St. John Ambulance Association, in one of the Manchester districts and the concert was to raise money for our organisation.

    I memorized the first verse, but never had a copy of it until now, so I’m grateful to you for printing it out. I plan to read it to my large family at our next gathering. This is one of my favorite pastimes. At 87, I don’t trust myself to learn it by heart, but I shall try.

  • Heather says:

    In 1950 I won a State Medal for Elocution reciting “The Mouse & The Cake. Neither of these poems “ring a bell” with me. Do you know of any others?
    Many thanks,
    Heather

  • Sheila says:

    Amazing, my own mother used to recite the poem about the mouse and the plum cake to me when I was small (although she did shorten it a little to get the moral across ) I do recognise the wording from the poem above and I could recite most of it recently to my grandson. It is wonderful how it has travelled down all those generations. Thank You.

  • Trudi says:

    Do you think this has also been called “The Mouse and the Plum Pudding” – my grandad tells me he acted as the mouse during the reciting of that poem when he was at school – he is 93 this year… I have been looking for that poem to read to him.

  • Barry says:

    My mother used to recite the Mouse and the Cake when I was a small child.
    I am 76 now and was delighted to find the poem here and thank you so much.

  • Bertie says:

    Dear lynn thank you fot sharing the poem. I haven’t come across it before so i am afraid i can’t tell you the origin.

  • Lynn says:

    I’ve been trying to find the following poem online. My Dad taught it to me in the fifties. I think it was passed on from his Mother or father. I wonder if anyone recognises it – it’s the version I know but I think I may have forgotten some…

    Two little mice made a hole in a cheese
    They lived there some time, as long as you please.
    (something about top most shelf)
    A little old woman came in to the town,
    She wanted some cheese, so the man took it down.
    ‘O me, oh my, how light it doth feel’,
    Said the little old man, whose name was John Peel.
    He cut it in two with a very sharp knife,
    And the two little mice ran away for their life.
    Pussy soon saw them, you know the rest…..

    except I don’t, because my Dad never said the proper ending. Not wanting to upset us – although we understood the likely outcome well enough -he used to finish:
    She took out her knitting and made them a vest!

    I would be so pleased to know if anyone else remembers this and if they have a more complete version.

  • al grant says:

    the mouse and the cake.My father who would be 109 years old if he was alive,use to recite it us,so now it has brought back so many pleasant memories.THANKS.

  • Bertie says:

    Dear Mother Mouse, have look down our sidebar for the email subscription (free)

  • Mother Mouse says:

    hi there,
    i really like this poem although my daughter now has nightmares, so is there anyway you could send me this poem but in a more appropriate form? email me!
    you’re a great reader though!
    (Joking about the name, that’s what my daughter loves to call me!)

  • Julia says:

    Hi there tashy,
    loving this poem atm.
    one of my personal faves.
    xoxox

  • kenneth says:

    I loved this as my mother could tell this to childeren and to see the eys as each word was heard was happy times that was 80 years ago

  • Berite says:

    Dear Natsha

    I love you.

  • Anonymous says:

    dear natash

    i love you

  • Darius says:

    nice story sad at the end

    NOT

  • philip D says:

    wow my mam used to tell all of us that story years ago, we would sit on her knee and she would tell us the story of the mouse and the cake, we have remembered most of the words but not all so thankyou brought joy to all that listened

  • Ann says:

    Dear,
    The error occurs with the mp3 file, can you fix it please :)

  • Diane says:

    I remember reading a little story book to my younger brother in the early 1950s. The three mice were: “One was named Robert, one was named Ned, the other was named Sally Skip-under-the bed.” I have searched for this book for years and have not yet found it.

  • Stef says:

    My mum taught me the mouse and the cake poem. I couldn’t remember all the words to teach it to my son. Thank you for the memories!
    steany

  • Gary says:

    Have you ever heard of a mouse poem about 3 mice, Peep Sly and Creep? My great grandmother used to recite it to me & I can’t find it anywhere.

  • Natasha says:

    Dear Steffen,

    Thanks very much. We have lots of listeners who learn English through our stories,
    as you’ll see with our sister sight in Japan! I love the English language and spoken voice

    Bye bye
    Natasha

  • Steffen says:

    Dear Natasha
    For English lernears like me your website is a big help to improve my English.Especially for understanding the spoken English that is sometimes
    hard to get.Many thanks.

    Steffen
    Germany

  • susan says:

    I looked up the Mouse and the Cat by Eliza Cook because that was the poem I thought I had recited fifty four years ago at my primary school prize giving. It seems it must be the Mouse and the Cake but I don’t remember much about it apart from flopping over at the end when the mouse dies. The joys of the internet.Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:

    that is a GOOD one.

  • Bertie says:

    Dear Minnie, I’m so glad that our stories and poems can cheer you up. I very much hope that your fractured leg gets better soon.

  • minnie says:

    i love this story, i have never herd these poems before.they brought me great joy as i am now in bed with a broken leg.

  • Susan says:

    My grandmother used to resite this story to her 12 children back in England. My mother has remembered it all these years and has now passed it on to me. I was so happy to find this since there has been alot missed out and dropped over the years. Now that I have read it again it brings back memories of sitting around and listening to my Mother tell us from her memory.
    WOW I’m so happy to pass the full poem on to my kids.

  • yvonne says:

    I have always remembered the mouse and the cake from childhood..It was my favourite and my mother read it at bedtime….My sister and I demanded it every night….How great to find it again on Google!!!!

  • meng says:

    Why, both the country and the city have advantages. The point of the question is that The City Mouse sacrifices his peace to please his palate. Is that a wise choice? It depends what you believe.

  • meng says:

    So many years have passed and the kids who enjoyed the poems have become parents or grandparents and still remember the poems. It’s the best reward for the writers.

  • Linda says:

    Heaven knows why I googled the Mouse & the Cake today but I did and was thrilled to find your website! My Mother taught us the poem when we were children (she is 91 years old now and she was taught it by my grandmother. How heartening to read about the joy it has brought to others all over the world!

  • Alefiyah says:

    Dear storynory i enjoyed the poem about the country mouse and the city mouse .Even the mouse and the cake. Both of the poems were long and written in paragraphs. It was great.i wish there will be a shorter version of it.

  • Tando says:

    Thanks a tonne I’m forty-two now. The mouse and the Cake was my Std 5 recitation I loved so much. I just googled it; guess what Waaalaaa!!

  • Carmen says:

    This is awesome I love these poems, several years ago I had to recite the country mouse and the city mouse so I am SO happy I found it! Thank you!!!!

  • pamela says:

    I reside in Canada and my mom resides in England. As a young child my mom would often recite this poem to her five children. My mom was born in Ceylon in 1920 and was taught the poem at the convent where she attended school in Gaule. She still recites this poem to me over the phone. Since she had do idea who wrote it I asked her if she would write the poem out and mail it to me, so I can share this with my daughters. But at the age of 87 she can recite it word by word. I decided to do a search and was so happy to have found your website. This made my day. I now know who wrote it and can pass this information on to my mom. She will be so very very greatfull. Thank you so very very much.

  • John says:

    When I was about 5 years old (in 1946), my mother would stand me in front of her and teach me verses from ‘The Mouse and the Plumcake’ until I was word perfect. I presume she learned it at school and I have often wondered since if anyone today knew the poem. Now I know they do! Thank you for putting it on the web. It would be of interest to know when the poem was first published.

  • Heather says:

    Delighted to hear this poem written by my great-great-great aunt! We always used to recite this at school as children in order to keep Eliza Cook’s name alive. I am now 68 and have her original peotry books, her hand coloured scrapbook and silk book marks.

  • Bertie says:

    Dear Linda and Maureen,

    Very pleased that you both (found the Mouse and the Cake at Storynory

  • Maureen says:

    How thrilled I was to find The mouse and the cake, thank you Natasha. My father taught me the 63 years ago and I have never forgotten it. I am 70 now and would like my 5 grandchildren to have it. JOY oh JOY!!

  • Lynda says:

    Hi, I JUST HAD TO RESPOND!!!

    I was here typing up the words to the poem -The Mouse & the plum cake, which i had learned since i was about 7 years old at primary school in my counrty of Barbados… i am now 45 years!!! so, i just thought that if i surf the net i may find the words AFTER MUCH SEARCHING, and with one click, (i entered the title) and up comes my poem – first go!! WOW!! I am excited to share this with my class tomorrow, this poem is worth a thousand sermons!!Thanks to my teacher of about 38 years! THANKS A MILLION to YOU for a GRRRR888 site!!

  • Vidhi says:

    I like this story so much.

  • Bertie says:

    Helene – Wonderful ! We are delighted to have helped you find the Mouse and the Cake. And hope you enjoy Natasha’s reading of it, as much as your Grandma’s .

  • Helene says:

    When I was a little girl my grandma used to tell me the poem of the Mouse and the Cake and I could never find it. So today I did a Google search and found your site and it brought me great joy to read the poem again.

    Thanks Storynory

  • bob says:

    cool

  • fikrifayi says:

    it is ceratinly great poem!!! il ike it very… it really helps me finishing my assignment… thank you very much

  • Bertie says:

    Woops! Thanks Antonia. The apostrophe is removed. Bertie.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Storynory – your site is great! I’d just like to correct Bertie’s grammar for the sake of any children reading your introduction to the poem. He should say:
    “That’s because you’re a girl, Natasha. Princes aren’t afraid of mice.”
    Keep up the good work.
    Antonia

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