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. Read Belling the Cat and other Greek fairy tales on , Reading time: 1 min, “Long ago, the mice had a general council “. Visit this site dedicated to providing Free Aesop’s Fables for kids including Belling the Cat. Free version of the Aesop’s fable Belling the Cat. Read the Aesop’s.

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Retrieved 26 January SOME mice who saw fit once a quarter to meet, To arrange the concerns of their city; Thought it needful to choose, as is common with us, First a chairman and then a committee.

The best known instance of the fable’s moral being put to work concerns the Scottish nobleman, Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus. While it is the case that the Earl of Angus was involved in an undoubtedly treasonable plot against James III, the ‘bell the cat’ story and Angus’s subsequent nickname didn’t arise until many years after his death.

This story tells the tale of a group of mice who were terrorised by the house cat. The author concludes with the scornful comment that laws are of no effect without the means of adequately enforcing them and that such parliamentary assemblies as he describes are like the proverbial mountain in labour that gives birth to a mouse.

It is that we should fasten a bell round the neck of our enemy the cat, which will by its tinkling warn us of her approach.

She turned around to see a little black mouse which bowed to her. Once upon a time all the Mice met together in Council, and discussed the best means of securing themselves against the attacks of the cat. The mice now no longer feared the cat. All the mice who had gathered there clapped and whistled as the cat wore the necklace.

Nevertheless, the tag has stuck as an undeserved nickname for the fifth earl. In his account only those with perfect tails are to be allowed into the assembly; nevertheless, a tailless rat is admitted because of a family connection with one of the lawmakers.


Chotu smiled and held the necklace made of bells in his hands. This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: Also, her stomach was full.

Among the many plans suggested, the one that found most favor was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the Cat, so that the Mice, being warned by the sound of the tinkling, might run away and hide themselves in their holes at his approach. Many plans bellinb been started and dismissed, when a young Fabel, rising and catching the eye of the president, said that he had a proposal to make, that he was sure must meet with the approval of all.

Belling The Cat

An old grey Mouse, with a merry twinkle in his eye, now got up, and said that the plan of the last speaker was an admirable one; but he feared it had one drawback. The mice found three little bells. In it was set for four male voices by Florent Schmitt Op. Titled simply “The Council of the Mice”, it comes to rest on the drily stated moral that ‘a risky plan can have no good result’.

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.

Belling the cat

The cat was no doubt beautiful, but she was a little short of brains! She searched for them in every corner.

In the classificatory system established for the fables by B. In recognition of this, he was always known afterwards as Archie Bell-the-cat. The cat did not pounce on the mouse. The story is used to teach the wisdom of evaluating a plan on not only how desirable the outcome would be but also how it can be executed.

But in the midst of the rejoicing over their good fortune, an old Mouse arose and said:. Their number was dwindling. Soon she felt a rumble in her tummy.

Belling the Cat an Aesop’s Fable

Retrieved from ” https: Then be not too hasty in giving advice, Lest your schemes should teh of thr council of mice; You had better delay your opinion a year. There still remains the perception of a fundamental opposition between consensus and individualism. By this means we should always know when she was bellnig, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood.


One of them suggests that a bell be placed around the cat’s neck to warn of his arrival. Retrieved 9 November Mures, Feles, et Tintinnabulum. The mice were facing a threat from a cat. Whenever she came anywhere near them, they could hear the ding-a-ling which would make them jump for cover. Sign in Get started. The story was evidently known in Flanders too, since ‘belling the cat’ was included among the forty Netherlandish Proverbs in the composite painting of Pieter Bruegel the Bellig It therefore refuses to conform and is impatient of restriction: In the following century, the Italian author Laurentius Abstemius made of the fable a Latin cautionary tale titled De muribus tintinnabulum feli appendere volentibus The mice who wanted to bell the cat [12] in De cato et muribusillustrated by Francis Barlow”.

In this case a man in armour is performing the task in the lower left foreground. One of them proposes placing a bell around its neck, so that they are warned of its approach.

Belling the Cat – Wikipedia

This page was last edited on 2 Augustat When bellijg hear the bell ringing we will know immediately that our enemy is coming. So out of respect, they their noses erect, Except one who the order reversed; Ayes, all then but one, but yet nought could be done, Until he had his reasons rehearsed. The mice withdrew respectfully.

Bell the cat Other phrases about: A big black cat. Townsend version The Mice in Council. Views Read Edit View history.