Persian Tales: The Sad Tale of the Mouse's Tail

This is another cumulative tale, and you can see from the all-caps at the end that the story leaves off with the mouse feeling quite frustrated. As the story ends, she has still not managed to get her tail sewn back on!

The story makes reference to the Jews of Iran, and you can find out more about the Persian Jews at Wikipedia.

The story also makes reference to Gypsies or Roma people, who have also lived in Iran for many centuries. You can read in Wikipedia about the legend in the Persian epic Shahnameh about how the Roma came to Iran.

Explore: For another cumulative story about a mouse, see Susku and Mushu. For another animal story, see The Tortoise and the Fox.

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Persian Tales unit. Story source: Persian Talestranslated by D.L.R. Lorimer and E.O. Lorimer and illustrated by Hilda Roberts (1919).


The Sad Tale of the Mouse's Tail

Once upon a time there was a time when there was no one but God.

The Mouse went out a-stealing and fell into a trap, and her tail got torn off.

Away she went to the Cobbler and said:
Cobbler, Cobbler, sew on my tail!

The Cobbler said: "Run away and bring me some thread so that I can sew on your tail."

The Mouse ran to the Jew and said:
Jew, Jew, give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail.

"Bring me an egg," said the Jew, "and I'll give you a thread." So she came to the Hen and said:
Tutoo, Tutoo, give me an egg
To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail.

The Hen said: "Go and bring me a grain of corn and I'll give you an egg." So she came to the Corn Heap and said:
Corn Heap, Corn Heap, give me a grain
To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg
To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail.

"Bring me a sieve," said the Corn Heap, "so that I can get you a grain of corn." So she came to the Tinker and said:
Gipsy, Gipsy, give me a sieve
To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain
To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg
To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail.

"Go and bring me a goat-skin," said the Tinker, "so that I may make a sieve1 for you." So she came to the Goat and said:
Goat, Goat, give me a skin
To give to the Tinker, who'll make me a sieve
To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain
To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg
To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail.

The Goat said: "Go and bring me some grass, and I'll give you a skin." So she came to the Farmer and said:
Farmer, Farmer, give me some grass
To give to the Goat, who'll give me a skin
To give to the Tinker, who'll make me a sieve
To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain
To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg
To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler to sew on my tail.

"Go and bring me a spade," said the Farmer, "so that I can dig you up some grass." So she came to the Blacksmith and said:
Blacksmith, Blacksmith, give me a spade
To give to the Farmer, who'll give me some grass
To give to the Goat, who'll give me a skin
To give to the Tinker, who'll make me a sieve
To give to the Corn Heap, who'll give me a grain
To give to the Hen, who'll give me an egg
To give to the Jew, who'll give me a thread
To give to the Cobbler
TO SEW ON MY TAIL!

And now my story has come to an end, but the sparrow never got home.









(600 words)















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