Bailey Barncat and the Mice
Submitted by: AugustW
Bailey Barncat threatens the mice. Will the mice come up with a solution to their problem?
In a big red hay barn at the top of a silvery hill lived a lazy orange cat. His name was Bailey Barncat, and it was his job to keep the mice from chewing the strings around the hay.
But Bailey Barncat didn’t like to work. He liked to roll and stretch in the sun. He liked to eat the cat food that the farmer’s daughter left for him in his black dish. He liked to listen to the birds sing with his eyes half closed.
Still, the mice feared Bailey Barncat. His claws were sharp. His teeth were quick. His eyes could see the tiniest flick of a tail even in the middle of the night.
One chilly fall day, the mice gathered to decide what would be done about Bailey Barncat. The elder mouse stood on the barrel of corn feed and clapped his paws together. “Anymouse who has a plan, climb up here and share it with us.”
The mice chattered amongst themselves. One brash young mouse climbed the barrel and raised his squeaky voice. “We should put a bell around his neck!” He lifted a golden bell into the air. “I stole one from the farmer’s daughter.”
“Yes!” the young mouse’s mother said. “We would hear when Bailey tried to creep up on us.”
The others cheered. The bell would ring and the mice could flee. They would be safe from the claws of the barncat!
When they had calmed down, the elder mouse asked, “One question. Who will be the one to bell the cat?”
Whiskers twitched. Tails tapped. But no one said a word. Even the young mouse lowered his ears.
The elder mouse sighed. “It's easy to say what can't be done. We need a real plan."
"I have an idea," said a small mouseling. "We should go and live up in the rafters, and eat the wheat the farmer keeps there. Bailey Barncat doesn't like to work, and Bailey Barncat doesn't like to climb. We would be safe and warm and never go hungry!"
The mice cheered! "Yes," said the elder mouse, "This is a good plan."
So the mice went to live in the rafters of the big red hay barn and grew fat on wheat instead. Bailey Barncat snoozed contentedly in the sun below.
Retelling of Aesop’s “Belling the Cat”