Hanging a Bell on the Cat

Each week we take a different Aesop’s Fable so you can read at your own level and learn some new vocabulary.


One day, some Mice were talking about how they could get rid of their enemy, the Cat.

They wanted to find a way of knowing when she was coming, so they would have time to run away. They needed to do something, because the Mice were so scared of the Cat that they hardly ever went out of their dens in the night or day.

They talked and they talked but nobody had any good ideas. At last a very young mouse got up and said:

“I have a very simple plan, and I know it will be successful!”

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

The rest of the Mice were very surprised that they had not thought of this plan before. They were very pleased and excited about the idea. But in the middle of the celebrations, an old Mouse stood up and said:

“The young Mouse’s plan is very good. But let me ask you this question: Who exactly is going to hang the bell around the Cat’s neck?”

It is easy to say something should be done, but much more difficult to actually do it.

Now you’ve read the fable, try the definitions quiz below!

Bell on the Cat Quiz

You’ve read the fable, now try to match the words to the definition!

5 Reasons Why Learning a Language is Good for You

With most of the world locked indoors for the foreseeable future, now is the best time to settle down with the books and your computer and learn a language, or practice the one you’re learning now. Here’s why…

It improves your memory

The fact is that the brain is like a muscle, because just like a muscle, the more it is used the better and stronger it becomes. Learning a language means you need to remember and memorise a lot of different grammatical rules, vocabulary and mistakes to avoid. This means every time you settle down to study you are giving your mind a workout and improving its ability to memorise and remember things. Multi-lingual people can recall facts, numbers and dates better than others!

Your first language will improve too

Learning grammar from another language means you become more aware of the rules for your own language. It makes you question why things are the way they are in your own language and means you can understand it better. Improving your listening skills in your new language will naturally make you a better listener in your own, as well as improving your clarity of speech when you practice pronouncing those difficult new words!

It will improve your overall academic performance

The benefits from sharpening your mind, improving your memory and easing stress will make it easier to study any subject. If you have exams in other subjects, for school or university for example, you will find studying a new language as well will aid your studying. Research has shown multi-lingual students consistently perform better than students with only one language. Your problem-solving skills will be improved and that can help you in countless ways!

It opens your horizons to new people and cultures

Imagine being able to communicate in another country fluently, understanding the people and their culture, and being able to read literature that was before inaccessible to you. Now you can really see the world through someone else’s eyes and open up new worlds and cultures for yourself. You can make new friends in your new language with people that you may never have met before. Learning a new language is a chance to be involved in a new international community.

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It’s good for your career

Having a second or even third language on your CV is a sure-fire way to get that dream job you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you will be able to apply for that promotion in your company, where the job involves international travel, or maybe you can apply for a job in new country and start to use and perfect your new language in a really immersive way. Some of the most successful people in the world are multi-lingual and that can be no coincidence. Learning a new language can benefit your mind, quality of life and career.

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Before you go to book your next English lesson with Scrambled Eggs, try the definitions quiz below!

5 Reasons to Learn a Language Definitions Quiz

Now you’ve read the article, try to find the definitions of the words in bold in this quiz. Good luck!

European Cup 2020 postponed

This summer’s European Football Championship has been postponed until 2021 to allow time for all Europe’s club competitions to be completed by 30 June if possible, Uefa has decided, as the football authorities grapple with the unprecedented disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.

The postponement of the Euros to proposed dates of Friday 11 June until Sunday 11 July 2021 and the likely postponement of next summer’s women’s Euros to 2022 were two of a flurry of measures announced on a day when football’s authorities showed determination to give leadership at a time the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, called “the biggest crisis that football faced in its history”.

One of those on Uefa’s teleconference call with all 55 of Europe’s national football associations, the European Club Association, European Leagues and the international players’ union Fifpro confirmed reports that provisional dates have been optimistically scheduled: 27 June for the Champions League final, 24 June for the Europa League final. Calendar formats which are played in normal times, such as the Champions League being played in midweek and not at weekends, could be changed in the effort to get games played as soon as governments’ health and travel policies allow.

Two working groups have been formed by Uefa, one to look at the possible resumption and conclusion of the club season “in a coherent manner”, the other “to assess the economic, financial and regulatory impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and propose measures to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic”, Uefa said.

This year’s Copa América, also due to take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021, has been postponed by the South American Football Federation. The African Nations Championship, scheduled for April in Cameroon and played for solely by players from domestic leagues, has been postponed indefinitely.

Adapted from: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/mar/17/euro-2020-postponed-coronavirus-uefa-champions-league-europa-league

Now try the definitions quiz below to test your knowledge of the words in bold.

Euro 2020 Definitions Quiz

Test your knowledge of the words from the article with this fun quiz!