THE STORY OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS :: spoiler alert, it was Basil the butcher's dog!

Ages 2 to 12 years

Wanna hear a joke?

There was once a family of moles who decided to go for a walk in the sunshine. 

First there was Daddy Mole, then Mummy Mole, then Sister Mole, then Brother Mole, then Baby Mole – all walking in a line with their noses to the ground. 

Suddenly Daddy Mole stopped and said, “I smell honey – do you smell honey Mummy Mole?” 
Mummy Mole sniffed the air and said, “I do smell honey – do you smell honey Sister Mole?” 
Sister Mole sniffed the air then said, “I do smell honey – do you smell Brother Mole?” 
Brother Mole sniffed the air then said, “I do smell honey – do you smell honey Baby Mole?” 
Baby Mole sniffed the air and said, “I don’t smell honey but I do smell mole-asses!”  (Molasses – get it?)

My kids thought it was the funniest, most risqué joke they’d ever heard when my Dad told it – on the day we bought The Story of the Little Mole . . .

It’s become a childhood classic since then – the story of a little Mole who doesn’t smell mole-asses – he smells something though!  Someone has done something right on his head!  How rude! 

Little Mole  is determined to find out who did the business. He goes from animal to animal asking who did the deed. Each animal denies responsibility and makes it’s case by showing how it does do it’s business.

Aside from the funny and gross factor, this is also a great scatological story – lots of different types of poo shown here.  Dove, horse, rabbit, goat, cow, and pig all demonstrate their poo.  Makes for fun conversations when bushwalking or mucking around on a farm – finding various types of poo then figuring out who would say: ‘I do it like this!’

This is also a great way to introduce onomatopoeia  - the rhetorical device of using a word that sounds like the sound it is describing.  For example –plop, rat-a-tat, kerplosh and so on – all used to describe one type of poo or another.

In the end, with the help of two flies who really know their poo, little mole discovers that it was Basil the butcher’s dog who did the business and little mole takes his revenge. Then, feeling satisfied, slips into his hole again.

Having often trodden in a wide variety of animal poo, the illustrations also really appeal – I can practically smell the pig poo, unpleasant as that may be. They’re funny and informative!

The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was none of his business will no doubt be read often if it’s on your bookshelf – you’ll probably get a bit saturated with it – but it’s worth remembering when someone you read to is :

  • embarking on some study of animals, scatology, ecology etc.
  • in need of a shared laugh.
  • learning about rhetorical devices.
  • yearning for revenge – did it really do little Mole any good – could he have had a happier day if he just brushed it off and went about his business  - did Basil the dog even notice – is that a good thing or a bad thing?
  • looking for inspiration for story writing – it makes a great pattern for a child to follow in writing.

The Story of the Little Mole is by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch

‘Keep nice and still’, buzzed the flies. There was a short pause. And then: ‘It is clear to us that it was A DOG’.