Select the desired text size
Perez the mouse.
Start of Story
It was easy to see that Perez was a mouse who was accustomed
to polite society, and to run about on soft carpets, as he had
such very good manners. * It was wonderful what a lot of
things he could talk about which made him a very pleasant
companion. * He had travelled through all the pipes and drains
of the capital, and in the Royal Library alone he had eaten up
three books in less than a week. * He talked too about his
family. He had two quite grown-up daughters, Adelaide and
Elvira, and a son, nearly grown up, called Adolphus, who was
studying for diplomacy in the drawer where the Minister of State
kept his most secret notes. He did not say much about Mrs.
Mouse, and the little King somehow fancied that she was rather
His Majesty listened to all this with his mouth open, from time
to time he put out his hand to try and catch Perez by the tail.
* But each time the mouse gave a sort of whisk and placed his
tail out of reach, without being in the least rude.
It was getting late, and the King forgot to dismiss him; so Mr.
Mouse cleverly hinted that he had to go that same night to a
street not far off to fetch the tooth of a very poor little boy
called Giles. It was rather a difficult, dangerous journey,
because near there lived a very wicked cat called Don Pedro.
The King at once wanted to go too, and begged Perez to take him.
The mouse stood thinking it over and twisting his whiskers; the
responsibility was very great, and moreover he was obliged to go
back to his own house to fetch the present for little Giles.
The King said he would like to go and see the mouse's home, which so
much flattered Perez that he at once offered him a cup of tea
and agreed to take him to see little Giles. Perez the Mouse
lived underneath a grocer's shop, near a big pile of Gruyere
cheeses which supplied the whole family with breakfast, dinner
and tea. Overjoyed, King Bubi jumped out of bed and began to
dress himself, when all at once Perez the Mouse sprang on his
shoulder and put the tip of his tail into His Majesty's nose. *
Then a wonderful thing happened, the King sneezed very hard and
turned into the most darling little mouse you ever saw. He was
all soft and shiny, and had wee green eyes like emeralds. *
Perez the Mouse took him by the paw and disappeared with him
down a tiny hole under the bed, which had been hidden by the
The way was dark and sticky, but they scampered along. Sometimes
Perez the Mouse stopped at some crossway and looked about before
going on, which rather frightened the King and made him feel
little shivers right down to the tip of his tail, and he knew
that he was afraid, but he remembered that:
'Fear is natural to the prudent,
To conquer it is to be courageous,'
so he would not let himself be frightened, which is being really
Once when he heard a tremendous noise, like dozens of motor
omnibuses passing over his head, he whispered to ask Perez if
that was where Don Pedro lived, but Mr. Mouse said no with his
tail, and on they went.
After going down a gentle slope they came to a big cellar which
felt nice and warm and smelt very much of cheese; behind a pile
of Gruyere cheese they found themselves face to face with the
Huntley and Palmer biscuit tin which was the home of the Perez