Many different animals lived in a lush, green meadow. There were field mice, hamsters, rabbits, snails, and earthworms. They had all been living together peacefully for many years, sharing the space and resources in the meadow amicably.
One summer day, a rabbit saw a stranger approaching the meadow from far away with a small backpack. He immediately notified all the inhabitants of the meadow, and in no time, they had all come out of their burrows and hiding places.
“Hello, I’m Henry the Mole,” the stranger called out as he approached the waiting animals. “I’m looking for a new home and wondered if there was any space in this area.”
The other animals looked at each other. They all agreed that growing their community was a good thing.
“Welcome, dear Henry!” the rabbit said. “We have plenty of room here. Let me introduce you to the meadow’s many inhabitants.”
They wandered around the large meadow while the rabbit showed Henry everyone’s dwellings.
“Just choose a free spot,” he said. “So far, we’ve never gotten in each other’s way.”
Henry could not believe his luck. He was very happy to have found a new place to sleep so quickly and with such friendly neighbors.
He spent the first few days furnishing his new underground home. He hadn’t brought many things with him, just a few odds and ends, which he now lovingly arranged in his den.
The next day, Henry decided to make his home a little bigger. Moles are very good at digging. He diligently dug in all directions. Suddenly, the earth directly in front of him got thin and crumbly. He heard a loud squeak.
“Oh no!” he thought. “I have accidentally run into the field mice’s house.”
Not only that! Henry was now standing in the middle of the mouse family’s living room as he had just broken through their wall.
“I’m terribly sorry about this,” he said quickly. “I didn’t mean to just barge in here. I’ll fix the wall right away.”
Luckily, the field mouse children were home alone and found it very funny that a large, friendly mole was suddenly standing with them in their home.
“Couldn’t you see our front door?” asked one of the young mice.
Henry rubbed his eyes but could only make out the outline of the mice.
“To be honest, I can’t see very well,” Henry replied.
The mouse children comforted him and helped him find his way back out of the living room. He quickly shoveled the dirt back up against the burrow and carefully felt his way back to his own.
When he got home, he was so tired that he fell asleep on the spot.
The next morning, he woke up to loud voices coming from the meadow above his head.
He rubbed his eyes and slowly felt his way up to the surface. When he poked his head out, he could see many animals gathered around. When they saw him, they immediately started yelling.
One called out, “Henry! Just look at the meadow. It’s one big construction site. Many of our neighborhood’s animals are small, and now they can hardly make it over these hills. What have you done?”
Henry couldn’t see very well, but he was terribly uncomfortable because the other animals seemed very angry with him.
“I didn’t do it on purpose,” he said. “It’s just that when I want a bit of daylight, the hills seem to appear all by themselves as I make my way out of the ground.”
Henry was very sad.
Then a young mouse said, “Don’t be so hard on Henry. He can’t even see the hills!”
The other animals looked at each other and realized that he hadn’t made all the hills on purpose.
Then the mother of the field mice had an idea.
“You know what, Henry?” she said. “Why don’t we give you a pair of glasses, and then you’ll be able to see where the other animals have their homes!”
Henry was relieved. His neighbors were no longer angry with him, and he could discover the world in a whole new way with his new glasses.