The story of the lion and the mouse is an Aesop's fable that uses these two dynamically different animals to depict how mercy brings its own reward. It also shows that no being is too small to help a greater being. Furthermore, the story of the lion and the mouse conveys how when kindness is showed to others, it is often returned.
In the earliest versions of the story of the lion and the mouse, a mouse came across a sleeping lion in the jungle. It admired the lion's ears, whiskers and mane and wanted to get a closer look. The mouse decided to climb up the lion's tail, scurry across its back, and jump off its paw. The mouse awoke the lion and before it could get away, the lion caught it between its claws. The mouse pleaded to be let go and promised to somehow help the lion in exchange for its release. The lion laughed at the mouse, wondering how such a small creature could help a mighty lion but released the mouse anyway. Some time later, a group of hunters was lurking in the jungle and came across the lion's lair. They set a rope trap, and when the lion came home it was caught in the snare. It struggled and roared but could not escape. The mouse heard the lion and went to see what was wrong. Upon seeing the lion caught in the rope, the mouse immediately chewed through the rope, freeing the lion and keeping its promise. The lion thanked the mouse and apologized for underestimating it.