This story is one of the eighty fables and parables found in Beatitales: 80 Fables about the Beatitudes for Children. Get your copy here.
There once was a mouse that served in the lion king’s army. Everyone laughed at the mouse, for he was small and easily defeated in battle. Even so, the mouse worked hard and served loyally.
Every year, the kingdoms of the jungle each selected one animal to fight in a great tournament. The lion king selected this small mouse as his champion. “I trust in you, my young mouse. Do you trust in me?” said the king.
“But, sir, I am not strong in battle. I am not strong enough to fight on your behalf,” replied the mouse.
“Trust in me,” is all the response that the king gave him.
The mouse entered the tournament in humble service of the king. The king’s confidence in him helped him overcome his fear. Others came to the tournament with pride and confidence in themselves, while the mouse came with confidence in his king.
The mouse won battle after battle by letting his opponents defeat themselves. The rhinoceros charged the mouse but missed. He ran his long horn into a tree and couldn’t get it out. The elephant tried to stomp the mouse, but he missed, too, and broke his ankle when he stomped too hard. The monkey tried to swing his way up to chase after the mouse to the top of a tree, but he was too heavy for the branches and fell to the ground.
Finally, the mouse was in the last match, against the tiger.
“The rhinoceros, the elephant, and the monkey defeated themselves, but I will not be so foolish. Come and fight me, little mouse,” the tiger said.
The mouse didn’t know what to do. He could not face the tiger directly in combat; he would surely be eaten.
He remembered the confidence his king had given to him. Setting aside his fear once more, he ran toward the tiger, yelling, “For the king!”
The tiger was surprised but didn’t stay still. He saw his chance and perched himself on his hind legs, ready to lunge at the mouse when it came near.
Then the mouse stopped. He was just a few feet away from the tiger, but the mouse was small and just out of reach. The mouse stood there, staring at the tiger in silence.
The tiger, confused at first, didn’t waste much time. He jumped toward the mouse with his great mouth open wide and his many sharp teeth. The mouse stood patiently, then jumped back at the last moment.
There below his feet was a small, gray stone. The mouse was so quick that the tiger thought the stone was the mouse. He bit down as hard as he could. The stone became stuck in his mouth, and the tiger was defeated.
The mouse had won the tournament
He returned to the kingdom with great honor.
“Hooray for the mouse!” shouted the animals of the kingdom.
The king rewarded the mouse’s trust in him with a high place in his court. The mouse helped the king rule over all the land for the many years that followed.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
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