Take care of others – love your neighbour

I’d like to share a wise story that I read a few weeks ago that will encourage us to look out for the needs of others.

Once upon a time, there was a mouse who lived on a farm with a chicken, pig and cow. The mouse lived in a hole in the wall of the farm. One day, he looked through the crack in the wall and saw the farmer and his wife opening a package.

“I wonder what is in the package,” the mouse thought.

To his horror, the mouse saw the farmer take out a mousetrap from the wrapping paper.

The mouse ran to the chicken, crying, “It’s a disaster! There’s a mousetrap in the house! I’m going to be killed!”

The chicken clucked and said to the mouse, “I know you are very worried about the mousetrap but the mousetrap will not harm me. I can’t be bothered about your problem.”

The mouse turned to the pig and said, “It’s a disaster! You’ve got to help me! There’s a mousetrap in the house, can you help me get rid of the mousetrap?”

The pig snorted and said to the mouse. “I’m not bothered by the mousetrap. The mousetrap cannot harm me. Why should I help you?”

Desperate, the mouse turned to the remaining animal on the farm. “Dear Mr. Cow, the farmer has bought a mousetrap. I’m in danger of getting killed! Please help me.”

The cow mooed and said, “Why are you hassling me about the mousetrap? The mousetrap doesn’t affect me. Go bother someone else!”

The mouse returned to his home in the wall, feeling frightened and depressed. He turned to the only being who could save him – God. The mouse said a prayer, “Dear God, nobody seems to care about me. I’m scared that the mousetrap will lead to my death. Please rescue me, You are my only hope!”

It was late in the night when the mouse uttered his prayer. He heard a large “clack”! The mousetrap had caught something.

The farmer’s wife went out to see if the mousetrap had caught the mouse. It was dark and the farmer’s wife couldn’t see clearly what the mousetrap had caught. Unbeknownst to her, the mousetrap had snapped on the tail of a poisonous snake. The venomous snake bit the farmer’s wife.

The farmer quickly rushed his wife to the hospital. They treated her for the poisonous bite and she returned home. However, when she was home, she still had a fever. Thinking that some chicken soup would make her feel better, the farmer took his axe and killed the chicken to make some chicken soup.

However, the farmer’s wife didn’t get better. Her friends, relatives and neighbours came to visit her, to comfort her in her illness. The farmer had to feed this large crowd of people, so he took his knife and butchered the pig.

Sadly, the farmer’s wife did not get any better. She died. Many people came to attend her funeral. There were so many people that the farmer decided to slaughter the cow to feed the huge crowd that had come to attend the funeral.

The mouse looked at how the farmer had killed the chicken, pig and cow. The mouse was the only animal on the farm that survived after the farmer had bought the mousetrap.

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I like this story because it’s a good illustration about how we should not be selfish, looking only after our own interests, but we should show concern for the needs of others. Jesus tells us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Our needs are all inter-connected, and many times when we help others, we benefit. Also, the story shows that when we refuse to help those who come to us with their needs, we may suffer harm for that down the road.