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Hello, I'm Peter.
Tonight's Bedtime Story is called...
Ah! I've got mice!
Oh. They're the mice from tonight's story.
Tonight's story is called The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse.
An Aesop Fable retold and illustrated by Helen Ward.
There was once merely a mouse.
He lived a small and quiet life among the seasons.
He knew the busyness of summer, and the rich, ripe,
dozy sweet days of autumn.
He knew the aching hunger of a long, cold winter under the snow.
And the smell of the warming earth in the first days of spring.
The Country Mouse knew he was contented.
Then, one spring morning, a visitor arrived.
A fine, sleek city cousin, with a lot to say.
"In the city, we don't have mud.
"And we don't have dangerous wild animals.
"In our city, we dine on rich, exotic foods.
"In sumptuous surroundings.
"We have such amazing sights and sounds.
"We have noise and bustle and hum.
"You should visit.
"You should come and see the wonders of my electric city."
Left to his own thoughts,
the Country Mouse grew less certain of his contentedness.
He felt a longing for new sights and sounds.
With the first sharp chill of winter,
he stole a ride to that bustle and hum.
The electric city crowded his ears and eyes.
He gazed at the high horizon where the cold sky was propped up
on great towers of smooth stone and glass.
He founds lights in the dark.
And automatic ups and downs.
He found his cousin's well-appointed apartment
with luxurious accommodation for the humblest of creatures.
But settling to sleep among glorious treasures
and refined tissue-y bedding, the guest room became suddenly unstable.
As he hid, he recalled the homely certainties of his own grassy nest.
Eventually, his grumbling stomach and sharp nose drew him to a table.
It was just as glamorous as the tales his cousin had told.
A magnificent feast, so delicious, so sweet, so perfect.
But so perilous.
DOG GROWLS AND BARKS
As he ran, he remembered with fondness his own quiet meals
and their more modest variety.
He remembered too the song of the faraway thrush,
the heave of the worm in the close earth,
and the buzz of crickets in the hot hay meadows.
He longed to be elsewhere.
To see the night sky lit only by stars.
To be safe. To be contented.
To be home.
And once he was home,
he slept deeply.
Merely a mouse dreaming of spring.
That story was called The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse.
I'll see you soon for another Bedtime Story.
And it's time for these two mice to go to bed too.
Right, come on. Up on my shoulders. That's where they like to sleep.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd