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Syndic Literary Journal

The Story of Two Mice

Written By Iraj Mirza

Translated From the Persian By Mahmood Karimi-Hakak & Bill Wolak

Narrated By Bill Wolak

The Story of Two Mice

by Iraj Mirza

Translated from Persian by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak and Bill Wolak

Listen for a minute

to the story of the two mice.


One was old and wise

the other young and naive.


Both lived in a nest

beneath the roof’s drain spout.


A cat also lived nearby who was

full of deceit and devoid of honesty.


The cat’s eyes spied the young mouse

and began complimenting him seductively.


The cat said, “Little mouse, how good-looking you are;

why don’t you come outside with me,


whatever your heart desires, I own;

come to me so I can give it to you.”


The old mouse heard the invitation

and admonished the young mouse, “My dear boy,


Don’t go; the cat’s tricking you!

Stay away!  Stay far away, or he’ll skin you alive.”


The uninformed and unthinking young mouse

didn’t believe the older mouse’s warnings.


He replied, “Why forbid me from seeing the cat?

He’s my friend, not my enemy.


Cats descended from the tribe of mice;

they have ears and tails just like us.


Look how lovingly his eyes gaze at me;

listen to how mellifluously he speaks such wise words.”


Once again the wise old mouse alerted

the deluded young mouse,


“I’m telling you, run away right now;

don’t listen to the words of this trickster.”


The young mouse answered, “I won’t run away;

I’ll never turn my back on such a friend.”


As the cat listened to this exchange, he blossomed like a bud;

once again, cunningly and beguilingly he resumed,


“I’m your friend;  don’t fear, come;

Why such an unjustified fear of a friend?”


Shocked by the cat’s deceitful words, the old mouse exclaimed,

“How convincing his arguments can be! What an insidious liar!”


Foolish and ignorant, the young mouse announced, “I’m going; I’m not afraid.”

The old mouse retorted, “Listen idiot, don’t say such stupid words.


Look at yourself and then look at the cat, you ass;

if you leave, you’re dead.


Cats and mice don’t become friends;

just as wolves and lambs don’t graze together.”


The crafty cat, that master of deceit,

once again offered some convincing enticements,


“Don’t listen to such despicable advice;

Don’t pay attention to the mumbling of that doddering mouse.


The old are senile idiots

who get lost on the wrong path.


I have rock candy, walnuts, and almonds

that I’ll give you for him.”


The unsuspecting mouse, naive and heedless,

was ready to believe any story.


He mistook the lies of the cat for the truth;

he ran over to the cat but immediately began shrieking,


“Help me, I’m dying;  save me!

I was utterly deceived by the cat.


He’s gnawed off my tail and devoured my paw;

he’s slit my stomach open and chewed off my ears.


His claws slashed as deep as my liver;

I don’t want a friend like this!”


The old mouse responded, “Too late,

you should’ve listened to my advice!


Whoever doesn’t listen to the words of wise elders

will suffer exactly as this young mouse.”



























Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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