Whitefoot the Woodmouse

by Thornton W. Burgess

"Mr. and Mrs. Whitefoot"

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1922
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Burgess T. W. (1922). Whitefoot the Woodmouse Boston: Little, Brown & Co..
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 4.5
  • Word Count: 663
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Keywords: 20th century literature, american literature, life lessons, nature
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When all is said and all is done
‘Tis only love of two makes one.


Little Miss Dainty, the most beautiful and wonderful Woodmouse in all the Great World, according to Whitefoot, was very shy and very timid. It took Whitefoot a long time to make her believe that he really couldn’t live without her. At least, she pretended not to believe it. If the truth were known, little Miss Dainty felt just the same way about Whitefoot. But Whitefoot didn’t know this, and I am afraid she teased him a great deal before she told him that she loved him just as he loved her.

But at last little Miss Dainty shyly admitted that she loved Whitefoot just as much as he loved her and was willing to become Mrs. Whitefoot. Secretly she thought Whitefoot the most wonderful Woodmouse in the Great World, but she didn’t tell him so. The truth is, she made him feel as if she were doing him a great favor.

As for Whitefoot, he was so happy that he actually tried to sing. Yes, sir, Whitefoot tried to sing, and he really did very well for a Mouse. He was ready and eager to do anything that Mrs. Whitefoot wanted to do. Together they scampered about in the moonlight, hunting for good things to eat, and poking their inquisitive little noses into every little place they could find. Whitefoot forgot that he had ever been sad and lonely. He raced about and did all sorts of funny things from pure joy, but he never once forgot to watch out for danger. In fact he was more watchful than ever, for now he was watching for Mrs. Whitefoot as well as for himself.

At last Whitefoot rather timidly suggested that they should go see his fine home in a certain hollow stub. Mrs. Whitefoot insisted that they should go to her home. Whitefoot agreed on condition that she would afterwards visit his home. So together they went back to Mrs. Whitefoot’s home. Whitefoot pretended that he liked it very much, but in his heart he thought his own home was very much better, and he felt quite sure that Mrs. Whitefoot would agree with him once she had seen it.

But Mrs. Whitefoot was very well satisfied with her old home and not at all anxious to leave it. It was in an old hollow stump close to the ground. It was just such a place as Shadow the Weasel would be sure to visit should he happen along that way. It didn’t seem at all safe to Whitefoot. In fact it worried him. Then, too, it was not in such a pleasant place as was his own home. Of course he didn’t say this, but pretended to admire everything.

Two days and nights they spent there. Then Whitefoot suggested that they should visit his home. “Of course, my dear, we will not have to live there unless you want to, but I want you to see it,” said he.

Mrs. Whitefoot didn’t appear at all anxious to go. She began to make excuses for staying right where they were. You see, she had a great love for that old home. They were sitting just outside the doorway talking about the matter when Whitefoot caught a glimpse of a swiftly moving form not far off. It was Shadow the Weasel. Neither of them breathed. Shadow passed without looking in their direction. When he was out of sight, Mrs. Whitefoot shivered.

“Let’s go over to your home right away,” she whispered. “I’ve never seen Shadow about here before, but now that he has been here once, he may come again.”

“We’ll start at once,” replied Whitefoot, and for once he was glad that Shadow the Weasel was about.