The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse

The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse

Juvenalian Details


As you discuss these questions with a partner, refer to the story and jot down notes to use in a class discussion.

  • What were some of the harsher or more Juvenalian details in the story “Once Upon a Time”?
  • What made it satire?

Open Notebook


Work Time

Complete a Quick Write. Identify specific lines and examples from the story to support your ideas.

  • What is tone in literature?
  • What makes something harsh or gentle?

Open Notebook

Then talk about your responses with your classmates.

The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse

Work Time

Reread “The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse.” Discuss with your classmates what happened in this story.

  • What did you think would happen when you first heard that the country mouse would visit the town mouse?
  • What do you think Horace is criticizing in society?
  • Would you say it’s a harsh story in tone or a gentle story?

Juvenalian and Horatian Satire

Work Time

  • Discuss with your classmates the Venn diagram for Juvenalian satire and Horatian satire that you began as homework. Update it as necessary.

Appropriate for Children

Work Time

The story of the city mouse and country mouse has appeared in many children’s books and has been the feature of a number of cartoons.

Discuss the following questions with your classmates.

  • How many of you are familiar with this story?
  • Why is this story especially appropriate for children (versus “Once Upon a Time”)?
  • Are there any popular movies or television shows that have played with the same central idea?

Modern Mice

Work Time

Consider how you might retell the story “The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse.”

  • How would you modernize this story?
  • What concrete details would you use today to contrast the lives of those in the cities with those in the suburbs or country if you wanted to show that a simpler life is best?

Open Notebook

Work in trios to come up with concrete details, and share them with your classmates.

Example From Modern Mice


  • Share one example from your modernized story with the class.

Reaction to Modern Mice


Take some time to comment on at least two other trios’ details from their modernized mouse story.

  • What details were especially apt?

Open Notebook

Also, read the article on director John Hughes and his movies, which include The Breakfast Club , another classic satire.