Mr. Nicely was an incredibly kind cat. He never chased mice and respected all the animals of the forest. He lived in a cute little home near the lake. Every day, he went fishing and donated half of his catch to the ill or injured bears.
He was also compassionate towards the mice living in a small hole in his home. He gave them a proportionate amount of food. The mice repaid the kindness of the cat by doing whatever little chores they could do such as placing a fresh bunch of flowers in his vase everyday and cleaning the tiny corners of his home.
However, there was one mouse who objected the mice’s relentless efforts to help Mr. Nicely. He never worked for the cat and always lazed around in his hole eating cheese and cake. He would see his brothers and sisters work hard everyday but still, he never ventured out of the hole.
One day, he said, “That’s it! I’ve had enough! You mice work tirelessly for that cat who does nothing for you. We can find our food ourselves. We don’t need to be the slaves of a cat.”
To which the other mice replied, “Wrong! That cat could’ve removed us out of this hole on the very first day he saw us. But he didn’t. Instead, he gave us all the luxury we don’t deserve. Everyday, we have cheese, bread, cake, meat and juice. This is the least we can do to repay his kindness.”
“I don’t care what he did for us. I just want us mice to live a life where we don’t have to work for anyone,” said the mouse.
The other mice were furious at him. They said, “Why are you so concerned? You don’t do any work. And if you feel that mice should live a carefree life, you’re welcome to leave this hole. For we will work for the food we receive.”
After saying this, the mice left for their duties, leaving the evil mouse alone. The next day, the mouse left the hole and ventured into the forest to begin his carefree life. As he was walking, he saw a giant shadow above him. “I must find shelter soon. Looks like it’s going to rain.” He looked up and before he could even squeak a word, a giant eagle snatched him from the ground. It pulled him higher and higher into the sky. The mouse felt that it was all over.
Soon he was going to become eagle food when suddenly, the eagle got hit by a pine cone and dropped him on a tiny trampoline. When he looked up, he saw Mr. Nicely with a pine cone gun in his hand.
“The mice told me everything”, said Mr. Nicely, “ I knew you would be in trouble, you paunchy mouse.”
“I’m sorry,” said the mouse who felt ashamed of himself. Luckily, Mr. Nicely forgave him and allowed him to come home with him.
When he returned home, the mouse worked hard with his fellow mice. In fact, he became the most hardworking mouse in Mr. Nicely’s household. And Mr. Nicely was also equally kind to him.
Mr. Nicely’s garden soon turned into a ginormous greenhouse with innumerable varieties of flowers all thanks to the diligence of Mr. Nicely and the mice.
And so we know that work, great or small, always pays off!