Town Mouse and Country Mouse

As we're gaining momentum and are starting to consider inviting people to read this blog, an explanation of the name seems in order. My friend Country Mouse actually had the brilliant idea of this name, because:
  • She lives out in the country, about 30 miles from town, while I live in the suburbs and can actually walk to the next town.
  • Her garden is a native restauration garden, and she pays a lot of attention to using locally native plants, and removing invasives. I have some non-natives, and there are quite a few California Natives that are not locally native in my garden. The danger of cross-pollinating with a rare manzanita is just not as great. Though I am careful with reseeders.
  • She has deer, racoons, gophers, and many other amazing critters in her garden. I have birds, squirrels, lizards, and the odd racoon.
So, town mouse and country mouse seemed like a good fit. And I dimly remembered from my childhood this story:

One fine fall day, country mouse was visiting her cousin town mouse in the fall. They had a jolly time, and there was enough food and they enjoyed watching the children and going in the garden to collect acorns. And as the days got shorter and shorter, country mouse was sure it was time to hibernate, but town mouse said don't worry, there's a lot of food. So the two spent the winter awake, eating cheese, being chased by the odd cat, but generally having a great time. And in the story I remember country mouse keeps saying "It's just amazing what you'll see when you don't sleep all winter". Like, snow, and Christmas cookies.

Then, come spring, country mouse invites town mouse and they have the best time with the beautiful flowers and the birds singing in the country. So, in my memory, this was a win-win story all around. The two were great friends, and learned from each other.

Imagine my suprise when I searched the Web and found that the actual Aesop fable is quite different. Here's a retelling from Wikipedia:

In the story, a proud town mouse visits his cousin in the country. The country mouse offers the city mouse a meal of simple country foods, at which the visitor scoffs. He takes the country mouse back to the city to show him the "fine life". But their city meal of cakes and jellies was interrupted by a couple of dogs which forced the mice to abandon their feast and scurry to safety. After this, the country mouse promptly returns to the country, and says:

"Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear"

Well, there you have it. Had I known the REAL story, I'm not sure I would have agreed to being the Town Mouse. But now that I can't be the Country Mouse and we already have this very cool name for our blog, we'll just keep it that way. Maybe I do have a more dangerous life riding my bike to work than Country Mouse. And I must admit to a fondness for cakes, and a dislike of bacon (though I kind of like beans...)

So, the moral of the story? Mmm. Don't trust your childhood memories. Don't get too attached to your blog name. Ahhh, whatever. My reputation's ruined, at least I can now say what I want.


Country Mouse said…
I remember it as a contrast between two ways of life, each with different costs and benefits! Kind of a Beatrix Potter affair. So there you go. Any way, as a crass coward willing to sacrifice the good life for the safe and dull one, Country Mouse doesn't come out of it so well either.

We can always give the story a make over at some point.
I based my blog name on the same fable, although my memory of it was closer to the Aesop version. As a true townie, now transplanted to the countryside, I was a little ambivalent about the whole thing...