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Horace Elisha Scudder

The Cat and the Mice

In a certain house there were many Mice. Now a Cat, hearing of this, went there and began to catch them and eat them up one by one. When the Mice were having this sorry time, they said among themselves: "Let us take time by the forelock and make our way to the eaves, that we may not be every one of us destroyed, for since the Cat cannog get there we shall be saved." Now when the Cat could not get at the Mice, he thought something must be done, and began to plan to get them out by some trick. Climbing up to a peg, and throwing himself off, he hung from it and pretended to be dead. One of the Mice peeping out saw him there and said: "Ah, you fellow, if you were a bag of meal itself we wouldn’t come out to you."

The fable teaches that prudent men, when they have found out rascals, are not to be caught by their make-believe.