Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Belling the Cat

We all come from a long line of "if onliers", as in "if only he/she would do this or that".  Catching ourselves in one of these wish lists is fine as far as it goes but to dwell endlessly on the "if only I would win the lottery" thinking is...., well it reminds me of a fable:

"Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common 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 meet the case.  "You will all agree," said he, "that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us.  Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her.  I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat.  By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood."    This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: "That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?"  The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke.  Then the old mouse said:

 "It is easy to propose impossible remedies."

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