Belling the Cat – The Fables of Aesop

The story of “Belling the Cat”

“Belling the Cat” is the tale of mice plotting to bell their nemesis, the cat, yet grappling with the dilemma of executing their plan.

The Mice once called a meeting to decide on a plan to free themselves of their enemy, the Cat. At least they wished to find some way of knowing when she was coming, so they might have time to run away. Indeed, something had to be done, for they lived in such constant fear of her claws that they hardly dared stir from their dens by night or day.

Many plans were discussed, but none of them was thought good enough. At last a very young Mouse got up and said:

“I have a plan that seems very simple, but I know it will be successful.

All we have to do is to hang a bell about the Cat’s neck. When we hear the bell ringing we will know immediately that our enemy is coming.”

All the Mice were much surprised that they had not thought of such a plan before. But in the midst of the rejoicing over their good fortune, an old Mouse arose and said:

“I will say that the plan of the young Mouse is very good. But let me ask one question: Who will bell the Cat?”

The story of “Belling the Cat”
– Aesop’s Fable –

The Moral Lesson of “Belling the Cat”

“Belling the Cat” is a classic fable attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop. The story revolves around a group of mice who are seeking a way to protect themselves from their common enemy, the cat. After much discussion, a young mouse proposes the idea of placing a bell around the cat’s neck so they can hear it coming and escape in time. The other mice are thrilled with this seemingly simple yet effective plan.

However, their joy is short-lived when an old mouse raises a critical question: Who will take on the dangerous task of actually placing the bell on the cat? This question highlights the flaw in the young mouse’s plan – while it may be a good idea in theory, it is impractical and risky to execute.

The moral of the story emphasizes the importance of considering the practicality and feasibility of a plan before celebrating its potential success. It serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of proposing solutions without considering the implementation challenges they may entail.

Aesop’s Fables
Aesop’s Fables

Discovering Aesop’s Fables

Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller of the 6th century BC, has made an enduring impact on literature through his collection of fables. His tales feature animals with human traits, navigating life’s complexities and imparting moral wisdom that spans generations.

Aesop’s fables act as reflections of human behavior, touching on themes such as morality, duty, honesty, and diligence. His skillful weaving of lessons resonates with readers of all ages.

While the specifics of Aesop’s life remain mysterious, his literary legacy shines brightly, guiding countless generations towards wisdom and virtue with timeless lessons for posterity. has collected and curated Aesop’s famous fables, each containing meaningful life lessons, to introduce them to our readers.

Leave a Comment