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Site Last Update: 09 Dec, 2019
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The Community of Rats
Once upon a time there was a community of rats in a certain African village. In one particular house a big and mean cat terrorized the rats. They decided to work together and build a small but strong hole that they could easily enter, but the bigger cat couldn't. After finishing and testing the hole the rats were very pleased by their teamwork and cooperation together. But then at a community meeting one rat said: "The cat himself can't go into the hole but he can still catch us as we enter and leave the hole. Who is going to tie a bell around the cat's neck to warn us when he is approaching?" Everyone was silent. All were afraid. While they succeeded in building the hole together, no one was ready to sacrifice himself or herself to tie the bell. (Folktale told by different storytellers in Eastern Africa)
 

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