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!

Adapted from http://www.read.gov/aesop/001.html

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