Who will bell the cat?

Lots of mice in a flurry run around the house, but who among them will be chosen, for their cleverness and spirit, to bell the cat is a deeply guarded secret. The cat is angry, hungry and mean spirited with sharp claws and teeth ready to devour menacing mice at first misstep.

The cagy mice know, from recent experience, that a blunder can be doom so they must patiently wait for the opportune moment to strike – and strike they must if the house must be rid of the menacing cat and a ragtag gang of compliant mice.

Should they fail, the reaction from the cat will be subtle – lethal however; deliberately slow but complete annihilation over time – the stench from decomposing remains, a reminder to all those who dare oppose the cat.

There may nevertheless be room for a different cat, a more cultured city cat breed to be gentle that may even have mice as companions – with never the thought of mice as a meal.

But that was not to be; cunning over-ran culture. The city cat and the mice who cherished his caring friendship and humanitarian nature were ambushed and chased by an angry marauding gang of fang and claw wielding scruffy alley cats.

Jubilation! The scruffs had won over the barn house and controlled the alley ways – life could not be better – Valhalla!

However, they were not the only ones with nine lives; biding his time and exploring the ground once an opportunity opened. The benevolence of the city cat was never unnoticed and the Tom from the neighboring farmhouse, with welcoming arms, opened his doors to the city cat and his faithful team of cats and mice.

Bravo; the Tom back to his former glory, a competent, fully matured compassionate leader, saw a lifelong dream and legacy beginning to unfold – unification of the barnyard. The mice saunter in unafraid to be devoured or pushed out into the cold wilderness. They dance and chant in the warmth of their new found home to a beat of unity and togetherness, the Tom and city cat admiringly cheering – long last – peace.

Meanwhile, angst at the neighboring farmhouse; the scruffs’ jubilation and adulation wane with the exodus to the happy farmhouse. The remaining mice fear a voracious cat as their numbers dwindle, but “who will bell the cat?”

Kit Stonewalling

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