The Three Friends

By Ada M. Skinner and Eleanor L. Skinner

Illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright

Illustration for The Three Friends by Blanche Fisher Wright

A Mouse, a Sausage, and a Dried Pea lived together in a little house. Each day two of the friends went out to work and one stayed at home to make the soup.

One day the Mouse and the Dried Pea said, “Sausage, you make the best soup. Tell us how you do it.”

“Friends, I’ll tell you,” said the Sausage. “While the soup is boiling I run through it once or twice. That gives it a very nice taste.”

“I’ll try that myself,” said the Mouse.

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” laughed the Dried Pea.

The next day the Sausage and the Dried Pea went to work and the Mouse stayed at home to make the soup.

She said to herself, “While it is boiling I shall run through it once or twice, as Sausage does. That gives it a very nice taste.”

So when the soup was boiling poor Mouse ran through it once and was drowned.

When the Sausage and the Dried Pea came home no Mouse was to be seen.

They looked all through the house but they could not find her.

“What has become of our friend?” asked the Sausage.

“Come, let us eat the soup,” said the Dried Pea.

As soon as they looked into the soup pot they saw what had happened.

“Oh, dear!” said the Sausage. “Poor Mouse is drowned in the soup.”

“Drowned in the soup? Foolish Mouse!” said the Dried Pea. Then she laughed and laughed and laughed until her back burst open. She ran to a cobbler who mended it with a black patch. Ever since that day all dried peas have a black patch on their sides.

But the Sausage sat alone on the doorstep crying, “Poor Mouse, poor Mouse, poor Mouse!”

Illustration for The Three Friends by Blanche Fisher Wright

A Dog came running down the lane.

“Sausage, why do you cry?” he asked.

“How can I help it? Poor Mouse was drowned in the soup.”

“What! The Mouse was drowned in the soup? Then I will howl down the lane.”

“Dog, Dog, why do you howl down the lane?” asked the Hedge that stood near.

“How can I help it?
The Mouse was drowned in the soup;
The Sausage sits crying on the doorstep.
How can I help howling down the lane?”

“What! The Mouse was drowned in the soup? Then I’ll upset myself by the wayside.”

“Hedge, Hedge, why do you upset yourself by the wayside?” asked the Tree that stood near.

“How can I help it?
The Mouse was drowned in the soup;
The Sausage sits crying on the doorstep;
The Dog is howling down the lane.
How can I help upsetting myself by the wayside?”

“What! The Mouse was drowned in the soup? Then I’ll drop my leaves on the Pump.”

“Tree, Tree, why do you drop your leaves on me?” asked the Pump that stood near.

“How can I help it?
The Mouse was drowned in the soup;
The Sausage sits crying on the doorstep;
The Dog is howling down the lane;
The Hedge is upsetting itself by the wayside.
How can I help dropping my leaves on you?”

“What! The Mouse was drowned in the soup? Then I’ll spout forth all the water from the well.”

“Pump, Pump, why do you spout forth all the water from the well?” asked the Maid who stood near.

Illustration for The Three Friends by Blanche Fisher Wright

“How can I help it?
The Mouse was drowned in the soup;
The Sausage sits crying on the doorstep;
The Dog is howling down the lane;
The Hedge is upsetting itself by the roadside;
The tree is dropping its leaves on me.
How can I help spouting forth all the water from the well?”

“What! The Mouse was drowned in the soup? Then I’ll smash my pail into pieces.”

“Maid, Maid, why do you smash your pail into pieces?” asked the Serving Lad who stood near.

“How can I help it?
The Mouse was drowned in the soup;
The Sausage sits crying on the doorstep;
The dog is howling down the lane;
The Hedge is upsetting itself by the wayside;
The Tree is dropping its leaves on the pump;
The Pump is spouting forth all the water from the well.
How can I help smashing my pail into pieces?”

“What! The Mouse was drowned in the soup? Then I’ll run away into the wide, wide world,” said the Serving Lad. Away he went. On and on he ran, and for all we know he is running still!

From Nursery tales from many lands, by Ada M. Skinner and Eleanor L. Skinner.
New York, Chicago, Boston: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917.

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Nursery tales

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