City Mouse vs. Country Mouse: Which Is Your Utopia?

City Mouse vs. Country Mouse: Which Is Your Utopia?

Elisabeth Wilborn
Aug 10, 2012

Yesterday I stumbled on a copy of Aesop's Fables. It seems no accident that my thumb fell into the old parable of the city mouse and the country mouse. I sat down to read this well-beloved childhood story, and came away truly unsure who was the winner here. Yes, the country mouse can eat his meal in peace, but isn't it nice to have delicacies, even if you have to hide from the neighborhood cat?

These days, the division isn't quite so great between city and country life, but it still exists. We recently moved from a hopping scene in Brooklyn to a sweet pastoral home. While waiting for our mortgage to be approved, I kept telling myself, "there are no wrong turns here. If it doesn't work out, we still have a great place to live." It did work out and we're currently camping on the floor of our very own farm house.

It's prompted me to think of the pros and cons of city life versus country life. We have two young children, and will miss the convenience of walking to school and running into classmates on a daily basis. We will miss having the world at our fingertips and the endless possibilities around the corner. We will miss the diversity. I loved being able to constantly reinvent myself in New York City, but longed for an inner quiet I was unable to attain there.

Since moving to the country, our girls have seen rabbits and salamanders and a spider web the size of their old bedroom. This morning, the ducks were defending their pond from a pair of intruding geese. Our children will have a completely different upbringing than they would have had in New York. Room to roam free, more space for all of us, and a chance to slow down and literally smell the flowers. We're still minutes away from a mid-size city, but the frenzied panic of city life is happily behind us.

How about you? Are you a city mouse, or a country mouse at heart? If you've lived in both environments, what did you like about each one? Which did you prefer?

(Image: Illustration by Richard Scarry, from City Mouse and the Country Mouse)

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