The big bridge and the little mouse

 Posted by on February 20, 2007  Add comments
Feb 202007

Would you like to hear the story of the great big bridge and the tiny little mouse? OK then. Settle in and pull up those cosy covers while I tell you the story.

You see, what happened was this. Once upon a time, the government built a road from one side of the great big city to the other. They pulled and they dragged. Then they dragged and they pulled. They huffed and they puffed and then they banged and they walloped. After years and years they were nearly finished.

My what a fine road we’ve built, said Road Inspector Toad.

Yes indeed, said Bridge Minister Rat. A very fine road indeed.

Haw haw haw, laughed Road Inspector Toad.

Ho Ho Ho, chuckled Bridge Minister Rat.

But a little field-mouse happened to be passing and heard their conversation.

Excuse me, said the field mouse.

Ho Ho Ho, chuckled Bridge Minister Rat

Haw haw haw, laughed Road Inspector Toad.

Excuse me please, said the field mouse.

Bridge Minister Rat and Road Inspector Toad both dried their eyes and gazed down at the trembling little field mouse.

What? roared Road Inspector Toad.

Good heavens! bellowed Bridge Minister Rat.

I was just wondering, said the timid little mouse, for he was truly scared of the two great road builders, but why did you leave out the bit in the middle?

Haw haw haw, chuckled Road Inspector Toad.

Ho Ho Ho, laughed Bridge Minister Rat. What a silly little mouse you are! We didn’t leave out anything.

No? hesitated the mouse, more confused than ever.

Why, no, smiled Road Inspector Toad. Don’t you know anything?

Well, I am only a field-mouse, said Mouse.

Of course you are, said Rat. Well, little fellow, our friends the Toll Monkeys will finish it off for us.

They will? asked Mouse, his eyes wide with wonder.

They certainly will, nodded Rat and Toad. And then every carter and wagoner who crosses the bridge will be so grateful that they’ll give the Toll Monkeys bananas for the rest of their lives.

Oh, said Mouse. But couldn’t you just finish the little bit of road yourselves? After all, the people are hungry and maybe some poor carter won’t have a banana to give the Toll Monkeys.

Ho Ho Ho, chuckled Bridge Minister Rat.

Haw haw haw, laughed Road Inspector Toad. Finish it ourselves? Where would that leave the Toll Monkeys? What fine friends we would be to leave the Toll Monkeys with no bananas. Now be off with you!

Oh, said the field-mouse. Well, goodbye then.

Ho Ho Ho, chuckled Bridge Minister Rat.

Haw haw haw, laughed Road Inspector Toad.

Years and years and years later, the little field mouse was passing by the bridge again when suddenly there was a loud FLOP! and a huge banana skin landed at his feet. He looked up, startled, and there he saw a troop of toll monkeys cavorting in the tree-tops. Each of them was carrying a sack of bananas.

Excuse me, said the old field mouse.

Hee hee hee, screamed the toll monkeys. Hee hee hee heeeeee!!!!!

Excuse me? repeated the field mouse.

A cheeky monkey swung down from his branch and picked up the little field mouse.

You talkin to me? Are you talkin to me?

Oh, said the field mouse, it’s nothing really. It’s just that I never saw you here before.

Yeah, said the toll monkey. Me an’ da guys done a real sweet deal wit da Rat an’ da Toad. See, we gets to keep loads an’ loadsa bananas an’ we don’t never have to work da bridge no more, but we still gets loadsa bananas. Ain’t dat da sweetest thing ya ever seen?

The field mouse nodded, uncertainly. I see. So, does this mean people don’t have to give you bananas any more to cross the bridge?

The toll monkey guffawed and slapped his thigh. Yuk yuk yuk, what a stoopid little field mouse ya is. Look over there on da bridge. Ya see the big line of carts and wagons?

The field mouse stared and scrunched up his eyes and stared some more.

Well, said the monkey, you’ll never guess what.

What? said the mouse.

That’s the Rat’s guys and the Toad’s mob, an’ ya know what they’re doin?

No, said Mouse.

They’re collectin’ the bananas for us, so’s we don’t hafta do nuttin at all no more, an’ still we gets all da bananas. Ain’t dat sweet?

And with that, the monkey was gone, back up his tree, leaving the puzzled old field mouse shaking his head.


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