The Mice in Council

Once upon a time the mice were so distressed by the way a particular cat was persecuting them that they called a meeting to decide upon the best way to get rid of this perpetual annoyance. Many plans were discussed and rejected. At last a young mouse got up and proposed that a bell should be hung around the cat’s neck so that they might always know in advance when she would be coming and thus be able to escape her. This proposal was greeted with great applause and approved immediately by everyone at the meeting.

Thereafter, an old mouse, who had sat in silence during the entire proceedings, got up and said that he considered the entire plan ingenious and that it would undoubtedly be quite successful. But he still had one short question to put to the other mice: which one of them was to put the bell around the cat’s neck?

Old Learning: It is one thing to conceive of a good plan and another to execute it.

New Take

The bell can be hung around when the cat is sleeping. Rather than ruling out a proposal outright, it is wise to look for opportunities around it.

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