Book Review: Once a Mouse

This story is a retelling of an old Indian folk tale. I was excited to have found it for 50 cents in our library’s used book section. I love to read folk tales from around the world to my children. I am always looking for books of this kind.

One day, a hermit sat in the forest thinking about big and little when he saw a little mouse being chased by a big crow. He rescued the mouse, brought it with him and started taking care of the mouse from there on. The mouse is threatened by a cat one day so the hermit turned the mouse into a cat. The hermit keeps turning the mouse into various animals, each bigger than the previous one, as it is being threatened by the bigger animals. Finally, the mouse is turned into a lion and the lion threatens the hermit himself. This is when the hermit turns the lion back into a little mouse and sends it back into the forest. The art in this book is beautiful. There is a philosophical tone to this story I think. Then there are lessons on greed, gratitude and boastfulness for children. Also, there is this simple fact that the eco system is designed in a certain way and it is egotistical of man to believe that he can alter this design.

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