Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
250. THE MICE, THE CAT AND THE BELL
Perry 613 (Odo
There were once some mice who held a meeting about how to defend themselves
from the cat. A certain wise mouse said, 'A bell should be tied around
the neck of the cat so that we would be able to hear him wherever he goes
and have advance warning of his attacks.' They all agreed with this proposal.
A mouse then asked, 'Who will tie the bell around the cat's neck?' One
mouse answered, 'Not me, that's for sure!' Another answered: 'Not me either!
I wouldn't so much as go near that cat for anything in the world!'
Douglas, Earl of Angus (1449-1514) was nicknamed 'Bell-the-Cat'
for an incident in 1482: the story goes that the nobles of Scotland
had formed a conspiracy against Robert Cochrane, a favourite of James
III and when the question was posed, 'Who will bell the cat?', Archibald
Douglas shouted 'That will I!' He disposed of Cochrane and later participated
in the rebellion that deposed James III in 1488.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.