Martel the Mouse
Reading Comprehension Activity

Martel the Mouse found the perfect home in the house of an old woman who left crumbs in the corners of the kitchen. All was good for Martel until the old woman let a cat inside. Students will read the story and discuss the theme and answer questions on the plot.

Topic(s): Humor, Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Theme, Summary. Genre(s): Prose

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Martel saw a little hole that led into a house. He squeezed through it and entered into a kitchen. There were lots of crumbs in the corners on the floor.  The house was old, but clean. Hearing shuffling from the other room, he peeked out the doorway. An old woman walked to a chair and plopped down. 

“Oh, boy,” he whispered. “This place will be perfect.” Martel made himself at home. He created a cozy little area inside the kitchen wall. For days he had the run of the place.

Meow. Meow. After a week at his new home, Martel heard a cat meowing outside.

The old woman got up from her chair and went to the door. “Oh, what have we here? Are you hungry? Come let’s get you some food.”

The cat moseyed in and immediately spotted Martel. The mouse made a mad dash into a hole in the wall.

Martel stuck his head out from the hole. There in front of him was a large black and white stripped cat. Martel pulled his head in just when the cat lunged at him. “Whew,” he whispered. “She almost got me.”

Martel peeked out and saw the cat sitting in front of the hole twitching her tail. “Oh boy, I’ve got to get her out of here. That cat wants me.” Martel paced inside the wall.

“I know,” said the mouse. “I’ll make a mess in the kitchen. The old woman will think the cat did it and throw her out.”

Not seeing the mouse again, the cat followed the old woman into the kitchen. “Oh, there you are.” She placed a little bowl with milk on the floor. “I’ll call you Aggie.”

Aggie drank the milk and laid by the old woman who was now back in her chair.

Martel poked his head out and saw it was safe for him to take action. He snuck into the kitchen. Before he could do anything though, Aggie was after him. She chased him around the table and into the dining room. Finally, Martel dashed into a hole in the floor.

“That cat!” he cried. Making his way inside the wall, Martel paced again. He poked his head through a hole, and Aggie almost swatted it off. “That cat must have radar. I’ll have to be patient.” He curled up and took a nap.

Soon enough it was nighttime. The old woman put the lights out. “I’m going to bed, Aggie. You can sleep in the living room.” She got a blanket and put it on the floor. “Here you go.” Then the old woman went to bed.

Martel watched Aggie roam the house, looking for him. He waited patiently. When Aggie finally went to sleep, Martel snuck back into the kitchen. He opened every cabinet and took out every box he could grab. He opened the boxes and emptied them onto the floor. After he made quite a mess, he went back to his hole.

The next morning, Martel woke to screaming. He poked his head out of the hole and saw the old woman chasing Aggie with a broom. She opened the back door and swept the cat out. “No more pets in this house!” The old woman slammed the door shut.

Martel patted himself on the back. “Good job.” He went back in the wall and waited for the old woman to clean up the mess. When she was done and back in her chair, he happily ate from the crumbs in the corners of the room.

Comprehension Questions

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