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The Not So Wise Owl
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Dave lives in the countryside with his Mum and Dad.
Every morning he walks round the fields and the woods near their house.
He likes to make friends with the animals he meets.
This morning, while Dave is walking along the lane, he sees a mouse lying in a ditch, the mouse isn't moving and it looks quite ill.
He kneels down to look closely at the mouse.
"You poor thing," he says, "I'll look after you!"
He picks up the mouse and puts it gently in his pocket.
"I'm going to call you Mr. Mouse!" says Dave.
He carries the mouse home, and when he gets into the warm house Mr. Mouse starts to recover.
Dave wonders where Mr. Mouse can live; then he has an idea!
"Can we put Mr. Mouse in the old fish tank?" he asks his mum.
"Yes!" she says "and here's a duster so he can keep warm!"
Dave tries to feed Mr. Mouse some milk from a dropper but he doesn't want to feed.
First thing the next morning Dave rushes down to see Mr. Mouse.
His dad is standing by the fish tank.
"Mr. Mouse isn't a mouse!" says his dad "He's a vole! I read in a book that we should feed him diluted goat's milk from a paintbrush."
Mum mixes some goat's milk with a bit of water; Dave dips a paintbrush in the diluted milk and gives it to Mr. Mouse.
He feeds and squeaks happily.
"Can we still call him Mister Mouse, if he's a vole?" asks Dave.
"Of course we can!" smiles his mum.
"Mr. Mouse has recovered now and needs to eat, not just drink milk!"
Every day, Dave feeds him porridge oats, grass and dandelion leaves.
"Remember we're going to the pantomime tonight!" says dad.
"Can Mr. Mouse come with us?" asks Dave.
"Yes" says mum, "but take lots of food for him and don't let him run away!"
Dave sits quietly in his seat as he watches the pantomime.
His pockets are full of porridge oats and dandelion leaves.
Mr. Mouse hides in Dave's sleeve and pokes his head out when he's hungry.
Each time Dave feeds him some of the oats from his pocket.
"Mr. Mouse needs things to burrow in and things to play with!" says dad.
Dave fills the fish tank with newspapers and cardboard.
He leaves the duster in the tank for Mr Mouse to snuggle into.
Mr. Mouse likes to run around on Dave's jumper and hide in his sleeves.
Every day they walk together in the fields and the woods near Dave's house.
One day, when they are walking along the lane, Mr. Mouse ran away.
Dave called out "Come back Mr. Mouse!" but Mr. Mouse doesn't come back.
He is very sad to have lost his friend; he puts some oats in a jam jar lid and leaves the lid in the lane near to where he last saw Mr. Mouse.
Every day the jam jar lid is empty.
"Mr. Mouse must be eating the food" says Dave "but will I ever see him again?"
Dave puts more oats in the jam jar lid.
One day when he is putting oats in the jam jar lid; suddenly a vole appears and runs towards him.
The vole stands on its back legs then runs around in front of him!
It's Mr. Mouse and he looks very fat!
Dave picks up Mr. Mouse and takes him back home.
Next morning, when Dave feeds Mr. Mouse, he finds five baby voles!
"I think Mr. Mouse is really Mrs. Mouse!" says mum.
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