The Story of Harold the Mouse
As told via IRC...
Once upon a time in a little hamlet outside Dussledorf, there lived a small mouse named Harold. Harold liked cheese, so every day he would pinch the cheese from the mousetrap which the inkeeper always set in the pantry. He didn't take any of the food from the rest of the pantry, because he was an honest mouse and didn't steal food.
One day, Harold went to the pantry, and the mouse trap was gone.
As Harold was an honest mouse, even though he was hungry, he didn't take any of the food from the rest of the pantry. Instead, he climbed up on the innkeeper's table while the innkeeper was having breakfast.
The innkeeper looked down at Harold.
"Oi!" said Harold. "Why did you take away the mousetrap?"
The innkeeper said "The mousetrap was to catch naughty little mice who sneak into my pantry to steal the food I have for my guests. If you eat the cheese from it, the trap is no good."
"Well," said Harold "I am not a naughty mouse, and I don't steal food from your pantry."
"But isn't taking cheese from the mousetrap stealing too?" pointed out the innkeeper.
Harold was rather upset that he was stealing, as he thought the cheese in the trap was a gift from the innkeeper. He went to a field where there were some cows, put a bucket under one of them and milked it. After he milked the cow, he churned the milk until it became butter. After the milk became butter, he dragged the bucket back to the inn and presented it to the innkeeper, who was by then finished having his breakfast.
The innkeeper was extremely grateful. "I'm extremely grateful," he said. "As the refridgerator has not been invented yet, fresh butter is hard to come by."
So from then on, Harold provided the innkeeper with fresh butter every day, and the innkeeper supplied Harold with cheese. And so they lived happily ever after, or at least until bartering was outlawed and the rulers introduced currency.