Millie was a harvest mouse. She lived with her mother in
a nest right in the middle of the meadow, in amongst the tall grass
and great big ox-eye daisies. The nest was round, like a ball, with
a little door on the side. Inside, it was lined with the softest
thistledown, so it was snug and warm in the winter.
Millie and her mother didn't have much money, and
Millie's dresses were a little old and worn, but she was happy.
In fact, everything would have been fine if it hadn't been for
Matilda was a mouse, just like Millie, only she
was rich, and always had the best dresses. Matilda was also very
unkind, and teased Millie about her plain clothes and worn shoes.
One Friday, Matilda
was especially nasty. An uncle had given her a great big box
of expensive sweets, and Matilda was letting some of her classmates
have one each: but only those who said how wonderful she was.
Matilda saw Millie come into the classroom.
"Millie's so mean," Matilda closed
the lid of her box, "I bet she's never given any of you
such nice expensive sweets."
Millie hung her head and said nothing: she wasn't
mean. She would have loved to give presents to everybody. But
she didn't have lots of expensive things: all she had was a kind
heart. Millie walked quietly away: there was nothing she could
The next day was Saturday, and Millie was helping
Old Mrs Spider's with her housework, as she did every weekend.
"You're very quiet this morning,"
Said Mrs Spider, "Something on your mind?"
having a party at the end of term," Millie replied. "That's
nice," Said Old Mrs Spider, "Will you be going to it?"
Millie explained about how the party would probably
be no fun at all because Matilda would be there in a beautiful
new dress and would tease Millie in front of all the other children.
"Don't you worry, my dear," Said Old
Mrs Spider gently, "You're a very kind person and that's
what really matters."
It was the night of the school party, and Millie
was getting ready. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Millie
went to answer it.
There, holding a large brown paper parcel, stood
Old Mrs Spider.
"Hallo, my dear," She held out the
parcel to Millie, "I've brought you a little present."
Millie's eyes widened
in surprise: she hardly ever had presents.
"Why, thank you," She said, "Thank
you very much indeed."
Excitedly, Millie began to unwrap it. Inside, neatly
folded, lay a beautiful party dress.
"Oh," Sighed Millie, "I've never
ever seen anything so lovely."
Pale blue, like the sky of spring, and so fine
and delicate it seemed to float in the air, the dress was set
with tiny jewels that twinkled in the firelight.
"I wove it for you," Old Mrs Spider
smiled, "As a present for being such a kind person. I
hope you have a marvellous party."
And, with that, Old Mrs Spider was gone.
When Matilda saw Millie at the party, in the beautiful
blue dress, she was so jealous she wanted to scream. She swished
swept out of the room in a fury, slamming the door behind her
- right on her tail.
"Ow! Ow!! Ooowww!!!" She squealed.
"Oh, poor Matilda," Gasped Millie.
Millie ran across
the room and opened the door gently.
Matilda yanked her tail free and ran off wailing
into the night.
Millie felt rather sorry for her.
"Poor Matilda," She said sympathetically,
"That must have really hurt. "
"Don't worry about her," Said Jonathan, "She'll
be quite alright in the morning."
Jonathan held out
"Come along," He said, "
It's your turn to be the loveliest mouse in the meadow."
And, for the rest of the evening, Millie had the
most wonderful party she could ever remember. She felt so happy
she thought she really might burst.