Saturday, August 13, 2016

WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?











Pic.: Vincent D'Souza



Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

Well, don’t tell me “I know this story.”



WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?




PAST:


There was a grocer’s shop where a large number of mice resided. The mice feasted on fresh cheese, biscuits, wheat, rice and sugar and lived there happily. But, the grocer was a worried man… He worried about his losses and thought of putting an end to the mice menace. Thus, he brought a hefty cat and placed it in his shop. The cat began to catch and eat mice one by one… The mice were so terrorized that they dared not to come out of their holes.

Then, one day, when the cat was not around, the mice called for an emergency meeting to discuss how to deal with the cat. “The cat has made our life miserable,” they all voiced their concern, “We will perish if we don’t do anything about the cat.”

Finally, a young mouse came out with a grand idea. “We will tie a bell around the cat,” he said, “That way, we will come to know when cat comes to attack us.”

“Wow… What a great idea!” jumped all the mice. “Our problem is over… We all can live happily here, once again!”

The mice were dancing and celebrating and there was a great sense of victory and joy in the air.

Just then, an elderly and experienced mouse said loudly, “Stop this nonsense, you fools. Tell me this first: WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?”




PRESENT:




There is a grocer’s shop where a large number of mice reside. The mice feast on fresh cheese, biscuits, wheat, rice and sugar and live there happily. But, the grocer is a worried man… He worries about his losses and thinks of putting an end to the mice menace. Thus, he brings a hefty cat and places it in his shop. The cat begins to catch and eat mice one by one… The mice are so terrorized that they dare not to come out of their holes.

Then, one day, when the cat is not around, the mice call for an emergency meeting to discuss how to deal with the cat. “The cat has made our life miserable,” they all voice their concern, “We will perish if we don’t do anything about the cat.”

Finally, a young mouse comes out with a grand idea. “We will tie a bell around the cat,” he says, “That way, we will come to know when cat comes to attack us.”

“Wow… What a great idea!” jumps all the mice. “Our problem is over… We all can live happily here, once again!”

The mice are dancing and celebrating and there is a great sense of victory and joy in the air.

Just then, an elderly and experienced mouse says loudly, “Stop this nonsense, you fools. Tell me this first: WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?”


GERALD D’CUNHA

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