Mouse,  the Bravest Animal
Traditional teaching story retold by Andrew Wright

Mouse visited Hare’s house.  Hare was not at home.  Mouse knocked on the door and he called, ‘Hare!  Are you at home?’  Hare didn’t come.  Mouse opened the door and went into Hare’s house.

Later, Hare came home.  His door was open.  ‘Why is my door open?’  He shouted, ‘Who’s there?’

Mouse roared in a loud voice in a tin bucket, ‘I am strong!  I am a famous soldier!  I can fight elephants!  I can throw hippos in the sky!’

Hare ran out of the house.  He met Jackal.  ‘Jackal!  There is a monster in my house!  Please help me!’

Jackal went to Hare’s house.  He opened the door and he shouted, ‘Who’s there?’

Mouse roared in a loud voice in the tin bucket, ‘I am strong!  I am a famous soldier!  I can fight elephants!  I can throw hippos in the sky!’

Jackal ran out of the house.  ‘There is a monster in the house!’  Hare and Jackal told Elephant.

Elephant went to Hare’s house.  He opened the door and he shouted, ‘Who’s there?’

Mouse roared in a loud voice in the tin bucket, ‘I am strong!  I am a famous soldier!  I can fight you!  I can throw hippos in the sky!’

Elephant ran out of the house.  ‘There is a monster in the house!’  Hare and Jackal and Elephant told Hippo.

Hippo went to Hare’s house.  He opened the door and he shouted, ‘Who’s there?’

Mouse roared in a loud voice in the tin bucket, ‘I am strong!  I am a famous soldier!  I can fight elephants!  I can throw you in the sky!’

Hippo ran out of the house.  ‘There is a monster in the house!’  Hare and Jackal and Elephant and Hippo told Frog.

Frog went to Hare’s house.  He opened the door and he shouted, ‘Who’s there?’

Mouse roared in a loud voice in the tin bucket, ‘I am strong!  I am a famous soldier!  I can fight elephants!  I can throw hippos in the sky!’

Frog gulped, took a deep breath and shouted back, even louder.  ‘I am the strongest of all creatures.  I jump over mountains.  I fly over rivers.  I am afraid of nobody!  Don’t make me angry!  Come out, now!’

‘Alright!  Don’t hurt me!  I’m only a mouse!’  Mouse came slowly out of the house.  He was crying.  ‘Please, don’t hurt me!’

All the animals laughed.

Source
This is a Trickster story from the Masai people in East Africa.  I first saw the story in: Gersie, A. and King, N. (1990)  Storymaking in Education and Therapy.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  London. (page 195)

My comments
This is a wonderful story.  With minor modifications it can be told to little children and to adults.  As often happens the teenagers in the middle might find it more difficult to listen to.
Wonderful for elementary learners of English with all its repetition and opportunities for participation!
In the original story the main protagonist was not a mouse but a caterpillar.  A caterpillar is not an animal but a creature…the rest of them are animals in the story.  It all got a bit complicated so I changed the caterpillar into a mouse.

5 Responses to “Mouse the Bravest Animal”


  1. 1 Rosemarie Somaiah February 9, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Hi Andrew,

    Love this story. Must try it sometime.

    Rosemarie

  2. 3 Satu Helkiö February 17, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Dear Andrew,

    Thank you so much for these wonderful pages! I followed the YL SIG storytelling discussion with great interest. I got so many ideas from that discussion and these pages, too. Maybe one day I’ll even stop being a ‘lurker’. So far, I’ve only had time (lousy excuse, I know…) to try this story which I absolutely love. So did the children.. Even the youngest could easily follow the story because I used puppets. (I teach English to Finnish children aged 9-12.) Thanks again!

    Best regards from snowy Finland,

    -Satu-

  3. 4 Güzäl March 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Dear Andrew, I have used some of your stories. I even don’t remember where I found them. may be in some courses.
    I also would like to join your storytelling seminar if you will happen to be in Estonia. I am English teacher in waldorf School and it would pleasure to attend your lectures.
    Warm wishes from Tallinn, Güzäl

    • 5 Andrew Wright March 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Dear Tallinn Guzal Do I call you Tallinn or Guzal? which is your first/family name? I am SO happy you have found my stories interesting and even useful….and SO happy you would like to come to one of my workshops. I maybe running one in Hungary in 2015 and you could come free of charge because Erasmus Plus would pay for you…Estonia is an EU country I suppose?? Write to me at my email address…. andrew@ili.hu Then I can send you the dates of my next course in storytelling and storymaking. Happy storytelling! Andrew


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