The Story of Jumping Mouse

Author: John Steptoe
Plot Summary: "You will reach the far-off land if you keep hope alive within you." The words of Magic Frog give courage to the young mouse on his long and perilous journey to reach the wonderful land of legend. He faces many obstacles on his quest and sacrifices much to help others in need. But the mouse's compassion and faith in himself prove to be a source of great power...and bring him rewards even beyond his dreams.
Posted In: Social and Political Philosophy

Discussion Questions

What is worth persisting at?  Especially without knowing what to expect?

  • If you don’t know what’s going to come out of something, why keep at it?  For example, doing the chores (they are usually for cleaning, but do you get rewarded?), or going to school, or walking a long distance.
  • Do good things always have to come with consequences?
    Do you always have to sacrifice to be happy?

No one else seemed to share the mouse’s dream.  Why not, and why did he still want and have to go?

  • Why did the mouse want to go to the far-off land?  Especially when so many others didn’t seem to want to go there?
  • But he knew he had to go.  Why did he have to go?
  • Did he really have to go?

What is it worth?

  • Do you have dreams, or things you want to be when you grow up?
  • Will you do anything to reach them?  Would you forgo other valuable things like sight and smell, or certain hobbies?  The mouse also left his family.
  • What would make it worth it?  What if something else comes along?

Why do we trust and depend on others, and what are the risks?

  • Why did the mouse have such trust in these other animals?  Should he have?  Could he have made it without them?
  • What kinds of risk do we have to take?
  • What’s a situation that makes you nervous?

Was the mouse’s final destination worth it?  Or was the journey the valuable part?  From which did he gain more?

  • Is being an eagle better than a mouse?  Did the mouse gain something by becoming an eagle?  Or lose something?
  • He was a pretty good mouse to start with.
  • Did he gain something during his travel, or just lose things?

When do you accept what you have and where you are?  Do you always have to be “moving up”?

  • Should the mouse have accepted his life the way it was?
  • Eagles kill mice, so is becoming an eagle a symbol of the mouse “moving up” in the world?  And is this always a good thing?

Contributed by Allie Clay