WHEN Osmo, the Bear, was left alone in the net, he thrashed about this way and that until he was exhausted. Then he fell asleep.
While he slept a host of little Mice began playing all over his great body.
Their tiny feet tickled him and he woke with a start. The Mice scampered off, all but one that Osmo caught under his paw.
"Tweek! Tweek!" the frightened little Mouse cried. "Let me go! Let me go! Please let me go! If you do I'll reward you some day! I promise I will!"
Osmo let out a great roar of laughter.
"What, little one? You'll reward me! Ha! Ha! That is good! The Mouse will reward the Bear! Well now, that is a joke! However, little one, I will let you go! You're too weak and insignificant for me to kill and too small to eat. So run along!"
With that the Bear lifted his paw and the little Mouse scampered off.
"It will reward me for my kindness!" Osmo repeated, and in spite of the fact that he was fast caught in a net he shook again with laughter.
He was still laughing when the little Mouse returned with a great army of his fellows. All the host at once began gnawing at the ropes of the net and in no time at all they had freed the big Bear.
"You see," the little Mouse said, "although we are weak and insignificant we can reward a kindness!"
Osmo was so ashamed for having laughed at the Mice on account of their size that all he could say as he shambled off into the forest was: