Belling the Cat from Aesop’s Fables

Letter B ( A to Z Challenge April 2019)

Through the years, the story of Belling the Cat like many of Aesop’s fables has been re-written and adapted to different cultures and social norms of the moment.  It is a simple story of a community of mice coming together to solve a common problem, a CAT!

The mice held a meeting and complained that it was impossible for them to go about their day peacefully with the threat of the big cat springing on them unexpectedly.  As I am not an expert on mice culture and certainly not one to sit and observe mice,  I suppose a family of mice would pursue happiness by being involved in activities such as building nests and gathering food.

In any event, the mice mulled over the fact that each time as they went about their business, the cat, being a hunter by nature, would do what cats do.  He would bring his long sleek body close to the ground and with padded feet, quietly sneak up on them; He would pounce on one unlucky victim and capture it within his sharp claws.  The other mice would scatter and run as fast as their little feet could carry them, knowing that they would never see their friend again.

The deliberations went on for hours.  There was much arguing about what to do with this cat that was disrupting their lives and threatening their very existence. Ideas came and went, and finally, a very young mouse said: “it’s very simple really, hang a bell around its neck so that we can hear him coming and run for shelter before he grabs someone.”

“What a great idea! An amazing plan.” An elderly mouse who had not spoken before said, “I’m glad we all agree. Now my friends, who will have the courage to step forward to do it?” There was silence, and soon there was the shuffling of hundreds of little feet.  It seemed that when looking for volunteers, they all took one step backward and the deliberation continued.

“Brave words are easier than brave deeds.” Aesop’s Fables by Jerry Pinkey

Have you ever been to a planning meeting at work, school or church and found yourself in a similar situation?  Most times the issue is not anything dangerous, just time-consuming or merely new.  There have been group meetings where we’ve pondered options that seem good in theory, but no one was willing to put into action.

It always amazes me that Aesop’s stories are still relevant today.  We have come a long way and have developed many great projects and ideas, but over the centuries our nature remains the same.

If Aesop were telling this story today, he would probably say: “ All talk and no action leaves us in the same predicament.”  Don’t you agree? `Belling the Cat by Jerry Pinkney

#AtoZChallenge #April 2019

6 thoughts on “Belling the Cat from Aesop’s Fables

  1. Lindi, the quote in the middle says it all. Many talk about doing things, but very few get up out of their chair and go do them. Keith


  2. A nice and interesting post, Lindi. However, if you don’t mind, I noticed (again, though I never felt the need to mention it before) you could pay more attention to your grammar before the final publishing. Common problems are when to use an apostrophe, especially when an “s” is involved. I am not saying you do this intentionally, and maybe they are just typos, but a bit of proofreading could definitely improve your writing visually, as well as not interrupting the reader who tends to wonder, what did she mean by that?
    Some examples:
    1) Paragraph 3, line 2 — cat’s — you are using the plural form of cat, cats, yet you published the possessive form, cat’s. Plurals do not generally use an apostrophe, if ever.
    2) Paragraph 3, line 3 — them; He — after a semicolon, there is no need for a capital letter on a common word. The use of the semicolon here is to join two independent clauses, maintaining only one sentence. The choice is always the writer’s, of course, but in your situation I would tend towards two separate sentences, …them. He…
    3) Paragraph 4, lines 3 and 4 — its and its — in one of the English languages craziest oddities, yet a logical one, the rules are reversed for its, and it’s. It’s, the contraction of it is, requires an apostrophe, therefore its, the possessive, cannot have the apostrophe, it has already been taken, and your sentence here is a great example of how to use each, but you got it half wrong; the first its is clearly the contraction, it is, therefore it’s, while the second its is clearly the possessive, correctly as you used it, its.
    4) Paragraph 5, line 2 — courage step — kind of a typo, but yet not. You forgot a word, probably due to typing too fast, a very common problem. The words should read courage to step, but the to disappeared. It is so easy to miss words while typing, then to read them as there when you are proofreading. You know you meant to have them there, so your eyes read them as there. When you proofread, get used to reading each word individually. You will catch most of the missing words that way. Don’t feel bad, every writer does this.
    5) Paragraph 5, line 4 — on — again I expect a typo. The word you meant was one.
    6) Paragraph 8, line 1 — Aesops — possibly another typo, but I tend to think not. You have written Aesop’s Fables so many times you have half-convinced your mind Aesop has an s at the end of his name, but there is no s. Be vigilent when proofreading.
    7) Paragraph 8, line 1 — his story — a controversial trap, but still a trap. Aesop wrote many stories (Aesop’s Fables) but you are discussing only one. Therefore, the most proper way to designate which story you are writing about is this story. I think the this would be the best way to point that out to the reader.

    Six, possibly 7, grammatical errors are acceptable in a novel, kind of but not really. No matter the length of the work, none is best. But in a short piece such as you have here, good proofreading is mandatory. Maybe most people don’t care anymore, I know schools do not teach proper English as well as they used to teach it. But having said that, writers could improve that problem by taking care to write proper English. It doesn’t take long, and yet it is so impressive to read a well-written manuscript.
    And then there are the commas, but many of the rules for commas are ignored these days. I did not mention them above because you broke no big comma rules, though there were a few questionable usages, and non-usages.
    Take care, Lindi, and keep on writing. But please, proofread.


    1. Thanks so much for your input. Believe it or not I have a grammar program and aometimesnit leads me astray. I will go back and check those out. Thanks for stopping by. I do appreciate that you took the time. All the best.


      1. Finally had a chance to go back and review. You are right. The errors were poor proofreading more due to rush to get the post in for that day. Usually it takes me a couple of days to get a post out because I like proof with fresh eyes. When I do that, I can also pick up some autocorrect changes that the program guessed wrong. Again thanks for taking the time to make you note. I appreciate it.


      2. My pleasure, Lindi. I know the same thing happens to me when I rush. The good thing with a post, you can edit it. With comments, only the blogger can edit it. I rush more with comments, and I regret it.


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