The Bird, the Mouse, and the Sausage

In the not too long ago there were three friends who all lived together in a little house in the woods. One was a cheery little blue bird; another was a gray field mouse with a long wiggly tail; the third was a sausage. They had been friends for a long time and they got along famously. The bird gathered firewood and kept the cooking and heating fires going. The little mouse did all the cleaning and housework. The sausage was the cook, and a great cook it was.

On some nights after all the work and chores of the day were finished, the blue bird would go and visit other friends. She enjoyed flying around in the sky. The other birds would often make fun of her, always asking, “Why do you live with a mouse and a sausage? Why don’t you come and stay with us, and you can fly through the skies all the time.” But the little bird ignored them as best she could, and would happily go back to her home and her specal friends.

Eventually, all the coaxing and nagging of the other birds changed the little blue bird’s mind. She reluctantly told the mouse and the sausage that she was leaving. The next day after gathering a big pile of wood for the fires and eating a good supper, she packed her few things and waved goodbye to her housemates. They were sad to see her go, but tried to understand.

It took several day to use up all firewood, and so the mouse and the sausage got along fine for awhile, but finally their cooking and heating fires were burning low. The mouse and the sausage talked it over, and the sausage said that he would go out and get more wood. But the sausage had no sooner gone out into the woods than a big black dog from down the road got a whiff of him. It only took the dog a few minutes to find the sausage and to eat him all up.

The poor little mouse, now all alone, didn’t know what had happened. The mouse went outside and looked for the sausage but nothing could he find. Just about then, the blue bird flew back to the little house. The bird told the mouse that she just couldn’t stand to be away from her friends. When the mouse told the bird that the sausage was missing, she took off right away and flew all around looking. She didn’t see the sausage, but she did see a big black dog. Flying down to a tree branch, the bird asked the dog if he had seen a sausage anywhere. “Yes, I did,” said the dog, “and I ate it all up!”

Well the blue bird flew back to the house and told the mouse. She and the mouse were so very sad, just thinking about the fate of the poor sausage. They began to talk about who would do the cooking now. The mouse said he would do the cooking if the bird would keep getting the firewood and help with the housework. That night, the mouse put a big pot of water on the stove and brought it to a boil, just like he had seen the sausage do so many times. When the water was boiling, the mouse remembered that the sausage would hop into the pot and give the soup a nice flavor. So when the water was boiling wildly, the little mouse jumped in. But of course he couldn’t climb back out, and the poor little mouse was scalded to death.

The blue bird was now all alone. She stayed in their little house for awhile, but even though it was only a little house, she grew lonely there. Finally she decided to go back to her other friends, the other birds. She missed her old and special friends the mouse and the sausage very very much, but she was happy to be able to fly through the skies all day long.

This story is found in the folk literature of many European countries, but in the United States it was found by folklorists only in Louisiana among those of French Acadian ancestry. I’m not sure if there is supposed to be a moral in there somewhere or not.