The KING of the Mice thought that Belling the Cat was a bad idea: “No. The Cat is completely harmless. His victims are recovering!” he said.
But the hero MICE at the Center for Cat Control were willing to risk everything to BELL the MARAUDER.
In truth, the MOUSE KING was terrified of even TALKING about the ‘CAT’.
Instead, the MOUSE KING hid.
The CAT broke into the barn and began devouring mice morning, noon, and night, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for brunch, teatime, and just-before-bed snacks.
The KING, still hiding, declared ‘VICTORY!’: “In Truth,” he lied, “the CAT is NOT that dangerous! He is only fast enough to catch the Old and the Sick! When they are gone, the CAT will leave! “Then, you will all be safe again! And I will not have to deal with all the Criticism and Ridicule I get from the Old Wise Mice for how I did not ‘Bell the Cat’.”
The young MICE cried out: “The CAT is catching lots of us AS WELL!!! We may ALL be eaten before he leaves!!!”
But the KING smirked: “That is GREAT NEWS! (for me!) The CAT is going to rid me of YOU and YOUR COMPLAINING, too!
This is working out splendidly! I think I deserve a NO-BELL PRIZE!”
The KING was very pleased with this new idea of being awarded A PRIZE for doing nothing. HE closed his eyes and began to strut around pretending he was wearing the GREAT GOLD NO-BELL MEDALLION.
Suddenly (no one could have seen it coming), the CAT jumped out, grabbed him, and swallowed him whole!
The astonished MICE scrambled for shelter and then peered back out at the CAT.
The CAT looked sick.
He had a tummy-ache.
He had muscle-ache.
He coughed like he had swallowed a dusty, dirty rag.
Beads of sweat burst out at the base of each of his whiskers.
He made a face contorted with puzzlement, pain, and fear-filled prognostication.
Then, he became violently ill.
He gasped for breath.
Finally, with a great heave of his gut, he threw up the KING and ran from the Barn never to be seen again.
The MICE gathered around the KING but found his robes and hair had been stripped off in the stomach of the CAT.
There before them was the very real, very dead, but quite unmistakable corpse of …
By Roy Hildestad