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The Cat & the Mice

The Cat and the Mice is a fable attributed to Aesop. It tells the story of a house full of mice, and the cat who hunts them. After the cat catches several of them, the remaining mice retreat into their holes. The cat tries to fool them by playing dead, but the mice don’t fall for it. The moral of the story is that the wise are not tricked by the innocence of those previously found to be dangerous.

The Story

There was once a house that was overrun with Mice. A Cat heard of this, and said to herself, “That’s the place for me,” and off she went and took up her quarters in the house, and caught the Mice one by one and ate them. At last the Mice could stand it no longer, and they determined to take to their holes and stay there. “That’s awkward,” said the Cat to herself: “the only thing to do is to coax them out by a trick.” So she considered a while, and then climbed up the wall and let herself hang down by her hind legs from a peg, and pretended to be dead. By and by a Mouse peeped out and saw the Cat hanging there. “Aha!” it cried, “you’re very clever, madam, no doubt: but you may turn yourself into a bag of meal hanging there, if you like, yet you won’t catch us coming anywhere near you.”

— If you are wise you won’t be deceived by the innocent airs of those whom you have once found to be dangerous.

 

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