At the outskirts of a small village, not so far away from here,
An old lady was living in silence, no one with whom to shed a tear.
Not quite alone the lady was in her ramshackle house,
For she had an elder cow, still giving milk, and a company of mice.
Every day she would milk the cow and wait until night falls,
Then relight a single candle to illumine her empty four walls,
And boil the milk with sourdough on a small stove, in a pot.
Then stir the milk with a thin wooden stick that was starting to rot.
Holding it with two fingers, she would stir it more and more,
And the smell would draw the mice that were living under the floor.
The rodents would stand high and low around the room watching her simmer,
Expecting her to invite one of them to chew the cheese for dinner.
Finally, she would hold a mouse by its thin long tail and put it gently on the table,
And the companion mouse would eat with her as much as it was able.
One dark night, outside a storm, the lady lit the candle and began to boil,
Took the pot, thin rotten rod and wontedly stirred the roil.
Soon the mice went out their holes and came closer to keep warm,
Where would they find something to eat in such a dreadful storm?
But the stormy wind blew on the house until it broke through a window,
Turning off the candle and stove, leaving darkness for the mice and widow.
So she hastened in the dark to close the window by its broken handle,
But later could not find the matches to relight the stove or candle.
Hence, she groped for the long thin stick and stirred the boiling milk once more,
And in the dark set down alone to eat as any day before.
She ate with much pleasure while the storm slowly abated,
Then finally reached the matches that on the table were located.
But when the house was lighted – Woe! Alas!
Inside the pot, there it was, one dead fellow mouse.
In the dark, she could not see what is held between her fingers,
Instead of long thin stick – a long thin tail stirred the boiling whitey flinders.
The frightened mice were horrified, could not believe their eyes,
Immediately they left the house and the old lady in sighs.