021. THE CAT AND THE MICE. A certain house was much infested with mice; but at last they got a cat, who catched and ate every day some of them. The mice, finding their numbers grown thin, consulted what was best to be done for the preservation of the public from the jaws of the devouring cat. They debated, and came to this resolution, that no one should go down below the upper shelf.
The cat, observing the mice no longer came down as usual, hungry and disappointed of her prey, had recourse to this stratagem; she hung by her hinder legs on a peg which stuck in the wall, and made as if she had been dead, hoping by this lure to entice the mice to come down.
She had not been in this posture long, before a cunning old mouse peeped over the edge of the shelf, and spoke thus: “Aha! My good friend, are you there? There may you be! I would not trust myself with you, though your skin were stuffed with straw.” [more info]