COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Why is there a seam in the mouth of the mouse?

Q. Why is there a seam in the mouth of the mouse?

R. At the time of the Flood, all kinds of creeping things and reptiles had come into the Ark, male and female. Once upon a time the mouse and its mate were sitting by the cat, when the cat suddenly said, "I remember that in former times my forefathers used to eat yours, and what they did then I might as well do now." With these words the cat sprang at the mouse wishing to eat it. The mouse fled and sought for a hole to hide itself, but could not find any. A miracle happened, and a hole appeared which the mouse entered and hid itself. The cat came to the hole and tried to follow the mouse, but could not, as the hole was very narrow. So she put her paw into it with the intention of dragging it out. The mouse opened its mouth. So the cat cut its lower chin open with its nail about half the length of a span. When the cat had gone away the mouse crept out of the hole and running to Noah said to him, "O thou righteous man, do me an act of charity and sew up the chin, which my enemy the cat has torn open." Noah replied, "Go to the pig and bring me one of the bristles of its tail." He went and brought it to Noah, who sewed up the chin. To this very day the seam can be seen (f. 26b).

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Why is there a seam in the mouth of the mouse?
Tale Author/Editor: Sira, Ben
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Hebrew
Classification: unclassified

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