Belling the Cat

Aesop’s Fables June 6, 2015
Greek
Intermediate
1 min read
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    Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat. Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case. “You will all agree,” said he, “that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighborhood.”

    "Belling the Cat." Illustration by Milo Winter. Published in The Aesop for Children with Pictures by Milo Winter (1919), Rand McNally and Co.

    “Belling the Cat.” Illustration by Milo Winter. Published in The Aesop for Children with Pictures by Milo Winter (1919), Rand McNally and Co.

    This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: “That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?”

    The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke.

    Then the old mouse said: “It is easy to propose impossible remedies.”

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