Mr. and Mrs. Field were so tired. They had been walking for a long time. Merry and Martin were tired, too. Merry was a baby. Mrs. Field had to carry her part of the time. Martin was old enough to walk by himself. They all wanted to rest.
Until yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. Field lived in a snug little house on Oatmeal Lane. Then somebody was careless. They did not put out the fire in the fireplace before they left. Some coals blew on the floor. The rug started to burn. Then the tablecloth burned. Soon the whole house was burned down. The Field Family did not have a place to live.
They were very sad, too. Tomorrow would be Christmas. They would not have a Christmas tree. They would not have any presents. They would not even have beds! And it was so cold!
Then Mr. Field saw a pretty white house. The lights were on. It had a fireplace. It looked so warm and happy.
"Maybe there is room for us in that house," he said. "Maybe we can stay just for tonight."
Mr. Field walked up the road to the house. In a few minutes he came back.
"Yes, there is room for us," he said. "There are beds for us, too. The family that lived there before just moved out today."
Everyone was very happy. They all hurried to the house and went inside. It was so pretty.
"Where will we sleep?" Mrs. Field asked.
"Right here," Mr. Field answered. He showed her a tiny door beside the fireplace. He opened the door. They all walked into the prettiest little room they had ever seen!
There were four little beds made from matchboxes. There was a table made from a spool of thread, chairs made from buttons, and little pictures on the walls. The pictures were really stamps, but the mouse family did not know that.
Uh-oh! Did I forget to tell you? Mr. and Mrs. Field and Merry and Martin are mice—field mice, actually. You see, their house had burned because the people that lived there were careless about the fire. Now they had found a new home.
"Well, children, let's get to bed," Mrs. Field said. "Tomorrow we can look all around our new home. I hope the people are careful about their fireplace."
"Yes," Mr. Field said. "I hope so, too."Paragraphs 15 to 30:
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