#The Cat and Mouse in Partnership

Performed by Jeff Smith ©2014

The Cat and Mouse in Partnership

Translated from the German by Stephen Krashen ©2010, Illustrated by Beniko Mason ©2016



A cat and a mouse got to know each other and decided to live together. When winter was approaching, the cat told the mouse, “We have to prepare for winter, so we don’t starve. You shouldn’t go outside – you might get caught in a trap. The mouse agreed.


pot of fat

They bought a pot of fat, and discussed where to keep it. The cat suggested that they keep it in the local church: “No one would steal anything from the church. I’ll put it under the alter, and we won’t touch it until we need to.”

After a while, the cat started to crave the pot of fat, but he didn’t want to share it with the mouse. He told the mouse he had to go visit his cousin, who just had a baby. “Sure,” said the mouse, “and enjoy yourself. My best wishes to your cousin and the new baby!”

But of course this wasn’t true. The cat didn’t even have a cousin. Instead, he went right to the church, crept up to the pot of fat, and licked quite a bit of it from the top. After that he went for walk on the roofs of the houses in the town, and did not return home until evening.


When he got home, the mouse asked him, “What did they name the kitten?

“Top-Off,” said the cat, casually.

“Top-Off?” cried the mouse. “That’s a strange name.”

“So?,” said the cat. “Your cousins have strange names. One of them is named Crumb-Thief.”

After a while the cat starting craving more fat. He told the mouse that another cousin just had a baby, and he had to visit her. The mouse agreed, but once again the cat went right to the church. This time he ate half of the pot of fat.

When he got home the mouse asked once again, “What did they name the kitten?”

“Half-Gone,” answered the cat.

“Half-Gone? Another strange name!”

“Top-Off. Half-Gone,” answered the mouse. “They are such odd names, that they make me stop and think.”

“You think too much,” said the cat. “That’s because you sit around home day-dreaming.”


Soon the cat started to crave the fat again. So once again, he told the mouse that another cousin just had a baby, and he needed to go visit her. He asked the mouse if this was OK. While the cat was gone, the mouse worked hard and cleaned up the house.

The greedy, selfish cat ate the rest of the fat, all of it. Feeling very full, he didn’t come home until night.

Again, the mouse asked, “What did they name the kitten?”

“You won’t like this name either,” said the cat. “His name is All-Gone.”

“All-Gone? That’s the strangest name of all, and for some reason it really bothers me.” The mouse shook her heard, and went to sleep.

After this, the cat didn’t pay any more visits to his imaginary cousins, but winter came and soon there was nothing to eat in the house. The mouse suggested that they go and get the pot of fat. The cat agreed, but when they got to the church, the pot of fat was, of course, empty.


“Now I understand what happened,” said the mouse. “You weren’t visiting your cousins. You were eating the fat. First, the top, then it has half-done, and then …”

“Shut up!” cried the cat. “One more word, and I’ll eat you too.”

But “all gone” was already on the poor mouse’s lips. She had scarcely spoken it before the cat jumped on her, grabbed her, and ate her up.

You see, that is the way of the world.


The End


  1. cat: 猫
  2. mouse: 鼠
  3. get (got) to know: 知り合う
  4. each other: お互い
  5. decide: 決心する
  6. live together: 一緒に住む
  7. winter: 冬
  8. approach: やってくる
  9. prepare for: 〜の準備をする
  10. starve: 飢える
  11. go outside: 外出する
  12. might: かもしれない
  13. get caught: 捕まる
  14. in a trap: 罠に
  15. buy (bought): 買う
  16. pot of fat: 壷に入った油
  17. discuss: 話し合う
  18. where to ~: どこに〜する
  19. keep: 保管する
  20. suggest: 提案する
  21. local church: 地元の教会
  22. steal: 盗む
  23. put: 置く
  24. under: 〜の下に
  25. altar: 正餐台
  26. touch: 触る
  27. until: 〜まで
  28. after awhile: 少ししてから
  29. crave: 切望する
  30. share ~ with: 〜と〜を分かち合う
  31. visit: 訪問する
  32. cousin: いとこ
  33. Sure!: いいわよ!
  34. enjoy yourself: 楽しんできてね
  35. of course: もちろん
  36. true: 本当
  37. instead: そのかわりに
  38. creep (crept) up to: こっそり近づく
  39. lick: なめる
  40. quite a bit of: かなりたくさん
  41. go (went) for a walk: 散歩に行く
  42. roof: 屋根
  43. top-off: 上がない
  44. casually: 無頓着に
  45. strange: 変な
  46. So?: だから?
  47. Crumb-Thief: パン屑泥棒
  48. half of the pot of fat: 壷の中に油の半分
  49. Half-Gone: 半分無くなった
  50. odd: 変な
  51. think too much: 考え過ぎ
  52. sit around home: 家でごろごろする
  53. day-dreaming: 夢想にふける
  54. once again: もう一度
  55. greedy: 欲張り
  56. selfish: 自分勝手
  57. rest: 残り
  58. all of it: その全て
  59. feeling full: 満腹を感じて
  60. All-Gone: 全部無くなった
  61. the strangest name: 最も変な名前
  62. for some reason: どういうわけか
  63. bother: 何か気になる
  64. shake (shook) one’s head: 〜の頭を振る
  65. nothing to eat: 何も食べる物がない
  66. empty: 空っぽ
  67. understand: 理解する
  68. Shut up!: だまれ!
  69. scarcely: やっとかろうじて
  70. speak (spoken): 喋る
  71. jump on ~: ~に飛びかかる
  72. grab: 掴む
  73. eat (ate) ~ up: 食べてしまう
  74. You see: そらね
  75. That is the way of the world.: 世の中とはこういうものなのだ