Italian Popular Tales
by Thomas Crane
Cock and the Mouse
ONCE upon a time there was a cock and a mouse.
One day the mouse said to the cock, "Friend cock, shall we go and eat some nuts on yonder tree?"
"As you like."
So they both went under the tree, and the mouse climbed up at once and began to eat. The poor cock began to fly, and flew and flew, but could not come where the mouse was. When it saw that there was no hope of getting there, it said, "Friend mouse, do you know what I want you to do? Throw me a nut."
The mouse went and threw one and hit the cock on the head. The poor cock, with its head broken and all covered with blood, went away to an old woman. "Old aunt, give me some rags to cure my head."
"If you will give me two hairs, I will give you the rags."
The cock went away to a dog. "Dog, give me some hairs. The hairs I will give the old woman. The old woman will give me rags to cure my head."
"If you will give me a little bread," said the dog, "I will give you the hairs."
The cock went away to a baker. "Baker, give me bread. I will give the bread to the dog. The dog will give hairs. The hairs I will carry to the old woman. The old woman will give me rags to cure my head."
The baker answered, "I will not give you bread unless you give me some wood!"
The cock went away to the forest. "Forest, give me some wood. The wood I will carry to the baker. The baker will give me some bread. The bread I will give to the dog. The dog will give me hairs. The hairs I will carry to the old woman. The old woman will give me rags to cure my head."
The forest answered, "If you will bring me a little water, I will give you some wood."
The cock went away to a fountain. "Fountain, give me water. Water I will carry to the forest. Forest will give wood. Wood I will carry to the baker. Baker will give bread. Bread I will give dog. Dog will give hairs. Hairs I will give old woman. Old woman will give rags to cure my head."
The fountain gave him water. The water he carried to the forest. The forest gave him wood. The wood he carried to the baker. The baker gave him bread. The bread he gave to the dog. The dog gave him the hairs. The hairs he carried to the old woman. the old woman gave him the rags. And the cock cured his head.