The Mouse and the Snake: A Bad Deal

By Dr. Ali Al-Halawani

bad deal

But now I can run away to save my life and avoid your sharp teeth and lethal poison!

Once upon a time, a big fire swept the woods and all the animals ran for their lives. Among these animals was a snake who was endeavoring to save her own life by creeping very fast on the ground lest the fire catch and burn her. She was exhausted, dead tired, and thirsty. Meanwhile, she saw a mouse who ran for his life too lest he would be caught by any of the two vicious threats, the fire, and the snake. He was frightened and intended to run away as fast as he could.

The snake called upon him, “Do not run away from me. I have just narrowly escaped death and I will not kill you after all I have seen and went through.”

The mouse stopped and remarked, “I do not understand!”

The snake replied, “I am thirsty; I want to be your friend from now on; just give me some water.”

The mouse said, “Ok, just follow me!”

The mouse moved towards his house followed by the snake who was dead tired and thirsty. They arrived at his place which was well-organized and neatly prepared. The mouse spent some good time and effort to make it like that. He went into the house and then came out with some water to quench the snake’s raging thirst.

The snake drank until her thirst was quenched then she said, “I need to get some rest. I need to sleep for a while. Is there any quiet place for me to lie down for a while?”

The kindhearted mouse replied, “You can enter my house; it is well-prepared and very comfortable indeed.”

She entered the house, slept, and woke up after hours of good and pleasant sleep. She restored both her strength and her nature. She looked around and saw the mouse, then she said, “Listen! I want to make a deal with you. I’m thinking about living here with you but on one condition; that we do not transgress or attack each other. This way, we can live peacefully and happily forever!”

Hesitantly, the mouse replied, “Yes, yes, I agree; deal.”

A few minutes later, after the snake moved around “her new house” – as she described it – the mouse said, “I need to go for food hunting.”

She said, “Ok, but do not be late!”

The mouse arrived at the doorstep and turned to face the snake and said, “Farewell; goodbye forever; congrats for taking my house away from me; my life is much more important than the house!”

Cunningly, the snake asked, “Why do you doubt my intentions?”

The mouse answered, “What we have just concluded is a deal between two unequal parties, one is strong while the other is weak. I have no power to make it work out for me as I have no power, neither equal or even close to yours. When I agreed to the deal, I did it as I was fearful of you and I feared that you would kill me at once. But now I can run away to save my life and avoid your sharp teeth and lethal poison!”

The moral:

Not all deals or agreements guarantee our rights. We should be smart; if the deal or agreement does not protect us, we have to run and try to find another deal or agreement that gives us protection and guarantee our rights well-deserved rights.


Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation, Kulliyyah of Languages and Management (KLM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was Assistant Professor and worked for a number of international universities in Malaysia and Egypt such as Al-Madinah International University, Shah Alam, Malaysia (Mediu) and Misr University for Science & Technology (MUST), Egypt; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC), Kuwait; Former Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Living Shari`ah Department,; Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS); and member of the World Association of Arab Translators & Linguists (Wata). He is a published writer, translator, and researcher. You can reach him at [email protected]. You may find his latest book titled: Aspects of ARABIC & Translation of THE QUR’ÂN On

You may also visit his page on


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