An old Cat was in a fair way to kill all the Mice in the barn. One day the Mice met to talk about the great harm that she was doing them. Each one told of some plan by which to keep out of her way.
"Do as I say," said a gray-bearded Mouse who was thought to be very wise,—"Do as I say: Hang a bell to the Cat's neck, and then when we hear it ring, we shall know that she is coming."
"Good! good!" said all the rest; and they ran to get the bell.
"Now, which one of you will hang it to the Cat's neck?" asked the wise one with the gray beard.
"Not I! not I!" cried all the Mice at once.