Panchatantra: Who will Bell the Cat
Once, a great number of mice used to live in a grocer’s shop. They ate the fresh, tasty wheat, rice, bread, cheese and biscuits that were kept in the shop. They were having a great time and living easy, comfortable lives, growing fatter day ......
Once, a great number of mice used to live in a grocer’s shop. They ate the fresh, tasty wheat, rice, bread, cheese and biscuits that were kept in the shop. They were having a great time and living easy, comfortable lives, growing fatter day by day.
But the grocer was concerned about the losses that he was suffering because of the damage done to his stock by the mice. So, he thought of a solution and bought a big, fat cat to keep in his shop.
From that day onwards, the cat began to catch the mice every day. The mice were terrified of even stepping out of their holes. They could not reach the food anymore. This was a great cause of worry for them. They decided to call a meeting of all the mice in the shop to discuss this problem.
They got together and started thinking. One of them suggested that they must get rid of the fat cat but no one could think of a way of doing so. So they kept thinking of other ways. Finally, one mouse spoke up, “We should tie a bell around the cat’s neck. That way, whenever the cat is near or is coming in our direction, we would get to know by the ringing of the bell and we can quickly run back to our holes.”
This idea was much appreciated by the other mice. They thought that this was the best plan. They began dancing and celebrating with joy. But their celebrations did not last very long for soon an old and experienced mouse said, “You fools! Stop celebrating and first tell me: who will bell the cat?”
None of the mice had an answer to this question. They had not thought about this major problem in their seemingly perfect plan. This is why it is said that making a plan is one thing but executing it is an entirely different thing.
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