Belling the Cat
Long ago, the mice had a meeting to consider what they could do to outwit their enemy, the Cat. Some said this and some said that, but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would solve the problem “You will all agree,” he said, “that our chief danger is the sly manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her. I suggest, therefore, that a small bell be attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. In this way we should always know when she was about, and could easily escape when she was in the neighborhood”.
Everyone thought this was a wonderful idea, until an old mouse got up and said, “That is all very well, but who will put the bell around the cat’s neck?” The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said, “It is easy to suggest impossible remedies”.
1. outwit (v.)- 以智取勝，騙過
2. proposal (n.)- 提案，計劃
3. sly (adj.)- 狡猾的，狡詐的
4. manner (n.)- 方式，態度
5. ribbon (n.)- 帶，帶狀物
6. neighborhood (n.)- 近鄰，整個街坊
7. remedy (n.)- 治療，治療法
8. attach (v.)- 裝上，貼上
9. bell (n.)- 鈴，門鈴
10. chief (adj.)- 首領，
11. consider (v.)- 考慮
12. impossible (adj.)-不可能的
13. signal (n.)- 信號
1. Choose the best answers.
A. Why did the mice have a meeting?
(a) To plan a party for the cat.
(b) Because the cat was eating them.
(c) They were bored.
(d) They wanted to make friends with the cat.
B. Who made a suggestion?
(a) A young mouse.
(b) The cat.
(c) An old mouse.
(d) The people in the house.
C. What was the proposal?
(a) To put a bell round the cat’s neck.
(b) To run away when they saw the cat.
(c) To ring a bell when they saw nothing.
(d) To do nothing.
D. Who said they would put the bell round the cat’s neck?
(a) The young mouse.
(b) The cat.
(c) The old mouse.
E. Why didn’t anyone try to put the bell on the cat?
(a) It was too dangerous.
(b) They were too lazy.
(c) The cat went to live somewhere else.
(d) They didn’t have a bell.
2. Write T for True or F for False beside these statements about the story.
(a) The cat was afraid of the mice. ___
(b) A young mouse had an idea. ___
(c) The cat agreed with the idea. ___
(d) The old mouse put the bell on the cat. ___
(e) At last nobody did anything. ___
3. Complete the following sentences by putting in the correct form of the verb in brackets.
(a) The mice (be) ______afraid of the mouse.
(b) They (decide) ______ to have a meeting.
(c) One mouse (have) ______ an idea.
(d) The cat liked (eat) _______ mice. (two possible answers)
(e) Nobody (put) _____ a bell on the cat.
4. Write short answers
(a) What were the mice afraid of? _________________________
(b) What did they want to put on the cat? ________________________
(c) What would they use to tie the bell? ______________________________
(d)What did the mice want to do when they saw the cat? _____________________
(e)What was impossible? _______________________________________
5. Find words or phrases in the story similar in meaning to the following.
a) cunning ________________
b) suggestion ______________
c) to think about ____________
d) join together _____________
e) the area where you live ________________