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Paraphrasing of 'To a Mouse'

Notes by John Murdoch, Robert Burns' Tutor,1765

"As soon as they were capable of it, I taught them to turn verse into natural prose order, (Paraphrasing) These are excellent helps to the arrangement of words in sentences, as well as to a variety of expression"

Attached are examples of children's interpretation of the poet's works. Paraphrasing by Primary 6 and Primary 7 pupils (10 and 11 years).

Paraphrasing of 'To a Mouse'
(by Derek age 10 years)

Wee smooth coated shy timid creature, do not be afraid, there is no need to scamper and scuttle away making such a noise of fear. I am very sorry that because we as men have to plough the land and so terrorise you. I can understand why you being so small an animal is scared. But mouse I want to tell you that I am your friend and can understand how you feel. I understand you have to take a few grains of corn to keep yourself alive. One or two small grains out of twenty four sheaves will not be missed by me. Your little nest has been destroyed and blown away by the wind and shelter to protect you from the stormy December winds which are cold and biting. Poor little mouse you have saw the fields bare and there is no food left. And winter will be here soon you would be cozie and comfortable in your nest if I hadn't destroyed it with my plough. Your little house must have taken you a long time to make. Now you have been turned out for all your efforts to brave the winter's sleety dribble and severe hoar frost. But my little friend you are not alone with your troubles perhaps it is just as well that we only know what is happening minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. No matter how well you planned for the future your plan may have to be altered to suit the new circumstances, if may be painful to do all this but if we are to survive we have to make the best out of any set back. But mouse if it is any comfort to you I too have many problems but my problems are much more serious than yours. We as humans can look and think either backwards or plan for the future. As I look forward I can only make a guess at what might happen. At the thought of what might happen I am afraid and I dread of a bleak future for me too.