Updated: Dec 11, 2019
It's a game of cat and mouse with these two.
What's going on? This week, and last, I had been teaching ESL lessons using a short story called, "Belling the Cat", by Eve Rice, adapted from an Aesop's Tale.
The mice have a meeting to decide what to do about the new cat in town and the proposal to bell the cat was accepted - but there were no volunteers to do the dangerous mission.
Eventually, this lesson took the shape of discussing with kids what kind of super powers would they give to create their own X-mouse (as in X-Men) to put the bell on the cat's neck, and this led to some interesting possibilities...although, some were too fatal for the cat.
This originally was a hurried sketch I did in 5 minutes right after finishing lunch one day this week to quickly alter my lesson plan this week with another moment of inspiration.
I wanted students to feel the littleness of the mouse and the insecurity that comes with tininess and relate to the vulnerability of having a stalking cat emerging from the darkness behind. Then I wanted them to write or discuss a plan to bell the cat using a clever method or strategy. Most opted for dissolving sleeping pills into the cat's milk. Others took a more drastic approach - but I insisted the goal was not to bell a dead cat.
For some reason, I didn't want to leave this silly sketch undone and wanted to put paint down, and before long it was taking shape and atmosphere. I hope I captured the mood and emotion of a mouse just moments before confronting his nemesis at night - will he have the courage? Will he succeed? What plan have they concocted? He's obviously the bait, and the cat doesn't know what he's in for!
Or, is it?