(This is the English translation of my preivous post)
In a certain field was a village of field mice. They lived in burrows. Their diet was mainly grass seeds and roots. Their lives were mostly worry-free except for a hawk living in the nearby woods. This hawk was always lurking around in the hope of catching some mice for food.
In the mouse village, each mouse had its own strengths and occupation. Hulky was the strongest, he was responsible for tunneling.
Fatty had the best taste, he was the chef.
Spectacle had the best eyesight, he was the sentinel. Every time when the mice went above ground to collect food, Spectacle would keep watch at the burrow entrance. Before the hawk could approach the mice, he would warn them, telling everyone to run back inside. Generally the mice never wander too far away from the burrow. So the hawk had little chance of catching them.
The oldest mouse in the village was the mayor. When he was young, he traveled a lot. Therefore he was very knowledgable.
Speedy was the mayor’s son. He was the fastest runner. What was his occupation, you might ask? Well, he was a thief. He was very sneaky, so he was rarely caught. The few times he was caught, he was let off easy on account of his father being the mayor.
One day, Speedy went to Fatty’s kitchen to steal food and was discovered. Fatty was furious and was chasing after him. In his haste to escape, Speedy ran outside of the burrow to the open field, trying to escape to the woods.
Fatty was going to chase him down. But before he ran too far from the burrow, Spectacle, who was keeping watch, suddenly cried out, “The hawk is coming! The hawk is coming!”
This sent Fatty scurrying back into the burrow. Before he went back underground, he looked back and saw the hawk quickly closing in on Speedy. He thought, “Speedy is dead! ”
In fact, the hawk did caught Speedy and took him back to its nest. When the hawk was about to eat him, Speedy begged for mercy. “Brother Hawk, How mercy on me! As you can see, I am small and thin. I won’t make a good meal. You’ll still be hungry after eating me. I promise that if you let me go, you’ll have mice running to you every few days. You can eat mice to your heart’s desire!”
The hawk was enticed by his offer, and asked, “Really?”
Speedy replied, “I guarantee it with my life. If you let me go home, mice will volunteer themselves for your enjoyment. I only have a small request: Can you shake the branches, so that acorns will fell to the ground?”
The hawk said, “That is easy!” It patted its wings, shaking the branches vigorouly. And soon there were plenty of acorns on the ground.
Seeing his chance to escape the hawk, Speedy come quickly descended to the ground. He picked up two large and fragrant acorns, and went back to the burrow.
Inside the burrow, the mice were mourning the fate of Speedy. Fatty personally went to the mayor’s home to apologized, “I am responsible for Speedy’s death! Sure, he stole my food, but stealing food is not a crime that is worthy of death. I should not have chased him. I should not have made him ran outside and be eaten by the hawk.” And he started wailing.
Just as every one was mourning, Speedy’s voice came in from the outside, “Don’t cry! I’m okay! I am back safe and sound!”
Every one was amazed. They surrounded Speedy and started to ask him how he escaped from the hawk’s claws.
Speedy answer with pride, “Because I ran! The hawk was not fast enough to catch me and I was able to run all the way into the woods. When I was inside the woods, I found a lot of acorns on the ground. There was only one of me, so I only managed to bring back two acorns. Fatty! I stole your food and I was wrong. Please accept this acorn as my apology. The other acorn I give to my most beloved Daddy – the mayor! ”
Because the mice had been living underground, most of them did not know what acorns taste like. The mayor, with his vast experience, explained the nutritional benefits of acorn to the mice. Fatty was of course hugely relieved that Speedy returned safely. He used all his cooking skills on his acorn so that every one can have a taste of this novel delicacy. The mayor also donated his acorn for everyone’s enjoyment. Unfortunately, there were too many mice, so each of them could only have a small bite. Nevertheless, the taste of acorn was memorable.
After dinner, Speedy stood up and said, “Folks! The fact that I came back safely proves that the hawk is not as scary as we believed. If we run fast enough, we can go to the woods to collect acorns. Starting tomorrow, I will be your running coach. May we eat acorns everyday! ”
The mice were intrigued by the prospect of eating acorns everyday. The mayor also sparked their interest by praising the benefits of acorn as if it was food from heaven. The next morning, there was a large group of mice following Speedy into vigorous training – with dreams of running faster than the hawk, and winning acorns in the process.
Three days later, Speedy thought the opportune time had come. During their morning practice, he told the mice, “After three days of training, we have significant speed improvements. I believe we are now fast enough to out run the hawk. Let us start our first acorn run today at noon. Let us we bring back our acorns from the woods! ”
At noon, a group of more than thirty mice ran out of the burrow together under the leadership of Speedy. They ran straight towards the woods. What a sight! Even the hawk was admiring the running mice. It knew it had to be patient, so it waited until the mice are halfway to the woods before it attacked.
Hulky was one of the running mice. Although he had great strength, speed was not his forte. Moreover, he had to work his tunneling job, so he had less time to practice than the other mice. Consequently, he was the slowest runner and became the hawk’s lunch of the day.
The remaining mice reached the woods. They were overjoy to discover acorns everywhere. They gathered as many acorns as they could carry. When they were ready to make the return trip, the hawk was already full, and it did not attack them.
As soon as they returned to the burrow, the whole village exploded with joy. The happiest of them all was Fatty the chef. He spent his day planning for various acorn recipes: acorn pie, stir-fry acorn, acorn stew. He was anxiously waiting for the arrival of his main ingredient. With the acorns were there, they were ready for the acorn feast!
Everyone enjoyed the feast, but a few of them remembered of death of Hulky. In the middle of the feast, the mayor stood up and addressed the mice, “Today, we have entered a new era. We have a new source of food which is more nutritious. Henceforth, we will be more healthy, more energetic, and can run much faster! In the outside world there is a famous scientific principle called ‘Survival of the Fittest’. One of us was sacrificed today because he could not run fast enough. This is living proof of ‘survival of the fittest’. From now on, for our survival, we have to run faster!”
That day began a “running fever” in the mice village. Speedy naturally became the village hero. Only Spectacle remained skeptical. Because of this, he quarreled with his wife. He said, “No one in this village knows the attack speed of the hawk better than I. No way can Speedy out run the hawk! It must be a lie!”
His wife said, “He brought home acorns, didn’t he? What proof do you need? Now every mouse in the village is eating acorns. We are still eating grass roots. The mayor says that acorns are rich in protein. You can go ahead and be a coward. But our kid can not do without nourishment or he will grow up thinner and weaker than the others kids. If you do not bring back the acorns, I will divorce you!”
When his wife mentioned their kid, Spectacle’s heart softened. He said to his wife, “For our kid it is worth the risk. If I die, I die!”
One week later the stockpile of acorns was gone. The mice once again had to collect acorns. This time Spectacle was also involved. When the hawk saw Spectacle, it recognized that he was the sentinel. It reasoned, “If I get rid of him, it will be much more convenient to catch mice in the future.” So the hawk picked its target. Poor Spectacle did not even have a chance to scream.
Since then, the mice regularly run into the woods to collect acorns. With Spectacle out of the way, Speedy can now sneak out and make contacts with the hawk. He informed the hawk everything regarding the movements of the mice. The mice on the other hand, had no idea of Speedy’s secret dealings and still regarded him as their great hero. Some mice wanted to emulate the success of Speedy and started their own running schools. Under the co-operation between Speedy and the hawk, one by one these competitors became empirical proof to the principle of “survival of the fittest “.
One day, when Speedy and the hawk had one of their secret meetings, the hawk said to Speedy, “We are perfect partners! Thanks to your arrangements, I am now having too much to eat. Remember the last time you asked me to take care of the fat mouse? Eating him really drove up my cholesterol! At this rate, I am afraid I will soon be too fat to fly! Honestly, I feel sick just seeing a fat mouse.”
Speedy replied, “Fatty tried to buy acorns in the black market from another supplier behind my back. Ha! He gets what he deserves! Don’t worry about your weight problems. I will take care of it! I guarantee that beginning next week, your diet of mice will be sweet, tender, and healthy! Top quality stuff! The best of the best for you my dear friend!”
The hawk said, “That’s great! It is such a pleasure doing business with you!” Then Speedy quietly returned to the burrow.
The next morning, a huge poster appeared in the village:
“Give your children a head start in life!!!”