Belling the Cat
The moral: It is one thing to say that something should be done, but quite a different matter to do it.
The Mice once called a meeting to decide on a plan to free themseles 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 thier 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 Cats 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, and 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 Wolf and the Kid
Moral: Do not let anything turn you from your purpose.
There was once a little goat Kid whose growing horns made him think he was a grown-up goat and able to take care of himself. So one evening when the flock started home from the meadow and his mother called, the Kid paid no attention and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone.
He was all alone. The sun was sinking. Long shadows came creeping over the ground. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass. The Kid shivered as he thought of th terrible wolf. Then he started wildly over the field, looking for his mother. But not half-way, near a group of trees, there was the Wolf!
The Kid knew there was little hope for him.
“Please, Mr. Wolf,” he said trembling, “I know you are going to eat me. But first please pipe me a tune, for I want to dance and be merry as long as I can.”
The Wolf liked the idea of a little music before eating, so he struck up a merry tune and the Kid leaped and danced happily.
Meanwhile, the flock was moving slowly homeward. In the still evening air the Wolf’s piping carried far. The Shepherd Dogs pricked up their ears. They recognized the song the Wolf sings before a feast, and in a moment they were racing back to the meadow. The Wolf’s song ended suddenly and as he ran, with the Dogs at his heels, he called himself a fool for turning piper to please the Kid, when he should have eaten the him.