Year 1 Language and Literature

Aesop's Fable: The Lion and the Mouse

lion and the mouse

This story is one of Aesop's Fables. Learn more about these fables that teach morals.

A mighty lion was sleeping under the shade of a spreading tree when a little mouse accidentally ran across him. The lion awoke and, quick as a flash, brought down his great paw upon the tiny little mouse. The mouse was terrified, thinking that the lion was about to kill him.

'Please spare me,' he pleaded with the lion. 'I didn't mean to wake you, and I am such a weak little creature compared with you, who are called the King of Beasts, that it would do you no credit to kill me. If you let me go, one day I might be able to help you.'

The lion took pity on the mouse and released him, although he thought to himself that it was unlikely that such a tiny mouse would ever be able to help such a great beast as himself.

Shortly afterwards, the lion was hunting in the forest when he walked into a trap. The hunters' nets closed around him, and he found that the more he struggled, the tighter the ropes bit into his great and powerful limbs. The lion's terrible roars could be heard through all the forest, and the mouse pricked up his tiny little ears. He recognised the voice of his friend, who had spared his life, and he hurried to find what was wrong.

'Don't worry, my friend,' said the mouse to the lion. 'I will soon have you free from these ropes.'

He set to work with his sharp little teeth until the ropes fell away from the lion. The noble beast was free, and learned that kindness can always be repaid, even by little friends!

MORAL: Little friends may be great friends, and no one is too small to matter.

Read another one of Aesop's Fables, titled Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.

This activity is adapted from pages 40 - 41 of What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

This activity has cross-curricular connections: click below to see the related activity (repeated owls show multiple related activities in that subject).

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