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Belling the Cat - A Short Story

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Introduction to Belling the Cat

Have you ever seen a cat with a bell in its neck? Probably yes, but in the cartoon. In this, a cat’s story is presented with a second most important character of the story, which is the mice. Cat and mice have a unique pair with fun, comedy, and entertaining elements in the story.  Surely you will enjoy reading it.  

The Story

A long time ago, there lived thousands of mice in a mansion.  The owner of the mansion, being sick of the mice eating food stock and destroying all the inventories, decided to get a cat and leave it in the mansion.  The following day, as he planned brought a big white cat to chase down the mice.  

A kitchen Full of Rats

A Kitchen Full of Rats 

The cat would have a good time hunting the mice and eating them whenever her stomach crumbled.  This started to happen quite often and because of this, the mice were scared to come out of their holes.  Seeing this, the owner was very happy with his decision as it saved him from all the damages.  

Cat Eating the Mouse

Cat Eating the Mouse 

Looking at how mice were dying day by day, the mice council called up for a meeting where all the mice were present.  Each one of them was worried and it was a serious issue.

A lot of them came up with ideas but nothing sounded right.  Amongst them, there was a small mouse that raised its hands and said “why don't we bell the cat?  Whenever the cat will move, the bells will make a noise and that would be our warning sign.!”  all the others clapped out of joy.  

Mice Council Trying to Come up with a Solution

Mice Council Trying to Come up with a Solution 

Agreeing to this, the head mouse with curiosity asked “but who will bell the cat?”.  There was pin drop silence and no one wanted to do the job.  All of them were scared of getting eaten before they could bell the cat and therefore no one wanted to volunteer.

Witnessing all this, everyone realized that it was easy to come up with a solution but it is important to practice it in reality and is the ultimate problem solver.

The mice council decided that they would cancel this idea and moved ahead to find other feasible and possible solutions to nullify the danger. 

Moral of the Story

It is important to face the problem rather than run away with it.  You can only solve the problem when you actually execute the solution and it is the ultimate problem solver.

Wisdom is about never giving up but knowing when to; likewise how the mice ultimately decided not to bell the cat but instead moved on to find some other feasible solution. 


Belling the cat is a story of a group of mice deciding to put a bell on a cat’s neck so that they could be warned before the cat approaches in the future. But they fail to find a volunteer who would perform the task of belling the cat. The story is also known as “The bell and the cat” and “Mice in Council”.

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FAQs on Belling the Cat - A Short Story

1. What does belling the cat mean?

It is an old phrase or an expression that means an act of performing a dangerous or risk-involved job.  The phrase has been taken from Aesop’s fable “belling the cat” itself where the mice council puts up a meeting where they discuss how to nullify the danger which can be caused by their enemy, the cat.  The phrase also means that you wish to know the individual who has the courage to do something dangerous.

Can be used in a sentence like this: someone has to bell the cat to solve the math problem on the board otherwise the teacher won’t let us all leave the classroom.  

2. What was the whole purpose of belling the cat?

The whole purpose of belling the cat was to get alarmed as soon as the cat would come to hunt them or near them.  The bells would make a sound which would give them a few extra seconds to run and hide in their holes.  This was just a thought to which the mice council agreed but the problem was no one had the courage to go in reality and tie the bells to the cat’s neck.  Ultimately the purpose of belling the cat remained unfinished.