The Town Mouse and the Spartan House
By Terry Deary
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430 BC. Darius has been orphaned by the plague in Athens. To escape the sickness he runs off to join his Uncle Alcmaeon who is a general with the Spartan army. But he finds the Spartan way of life quite shocking. To the arrogant and ruthless Spartans, he is as worthless as a mouse. Then his uncle falls sick and only Darius can find a cure. Now Darius is a hero and his uncle offers him a life of luxury in Sparta. Still Darius finds the brutal Sparta too much and wants to go back to plague-stricken Athens. As Aesop said, 'Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.'