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Belling the Cat
from The ÆSOP for Children
Analysis Key

     The Mice once called a meeting (DO) to decide [#1] {on a plan} to free

themselves [#2] {of their enemy}, the Cat [#3]. | {At least} they wished to find 

some way [#4] {of knowing [#5] [DO when she was coming] }, [Adv.

(purpose) to "knowing" so they might have time (DO) to run [#6] away]. | 

Indeed, something had to be done (P), [ [#7] for they lived {in such 

constant fear} {of her claws} [Adv. (result) to lived" that they hardly dared stir 

{from their dens} {by night or day}. ]] |

     Many plans were discussed (P), | but none {of them} was thought (P) 

good (RPA) [#8] enough. | {At last} a very young Mouse got up and said:

[DO [#9] "I have a plan (DO) [Adj. to "plan" that seems very simple (PA)],] | 

but I know [DO it will be successful (PA) ]. | All [Adj. to "All" we have to

do] is to hang (PN) a bell [#10] {about the Cat's neck}. | [Adv. to "will know" 

When we hear the bell ringing [#11] ] we will know immediately [DO that our 

enemy is coming]." |

     All the Mice were much surprised (P)  [ [#12] that they had not thought 

{of such a plan} before]. | But {in the midst} {of the rejoicing} {over their good fortune}

an old Mouse arose and said:

     [DO [#9] "I will say [DO that the plan {of the young Mouse} is very good 

(PA)]]. | But *you* let me ask one question [#13] : | Who will bell the Cat 

(DO)?" |

It is one thing (PN) to say [#14] [DO that something should be done (P) ], | 

but [#15] *it is* quite a different matter (PN) to do it [#16]. |


Notes
1. The verbal (infinitive) "to decide" functions as an adverb of purpose to "called." (For verbals, see KISS Level 4.)
2. "Themselves" is the direct object of the infinitive "to free." The infinitive phrase functions as an adjective to "plan."
3. "Cat" is an appositive to "enemy." (For appositives, see KISS Level 5.4.)
4. "Way" is the direct object of the infinitive "to find." This infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "wished."
5. "Knowing" is a verbal (gerund) that functions as the object of the preposition "of." The following subordinate clause is the direct object of "knowing," and the "of" phrase is adjectival to "way."
6. The infinitive "to run" functions as an adjective to "time."
7. This "for" clause functions as an adverb of cause--it explains why something had to be done. For more on "so" and "for" as conjunctions, see KISS Level 3.2.2. Note that the following "that" clause functions as an adverb to "lived" as modified by the prepositional phrases that follow it.
8. "Good" is a retained predicate adjective after the passive "was thought." The active voice version would be "They thought none *to be* good enough." In the active voice version, in other words, "none" is the subject and "good" is a predicate adjective to the ellipsed infinitive "to be." For more on this see KISS Level 5.7 - Passive Voice and Retained Complements.
9. Here we run into a question that is never discussed in grammar textbooks. In terms of meaning, the entire quotation is the direct object of "said." But such quotations, like this one, can continue for several sentences." In such cases, KISS considers the first main clause within the quotation as a subordinate clause--the direct object of "said." The remaining main clauses within the quotation are then considered main clauses. For more on this, see KISS Level 3.2.3 - Interjection? Or Direct Object?
10. "Bell" is the direct object of the infinitive "to hang." The infinitive phrase functions as a predicate noun.
11. Some grammarians will consider "bell" to be the direct object of "hear" and "ringing" as a gerundive (which they call a "participle") as a modifier of "bell." In KISS, that explanation is acceptable, but many people will prefer to see "bell ringing" as a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of "hear." See KISS Level 5.8 - Noun Absolutes.
12. The easiest way to explain this clause is as an adverb to "were surprised." Thoughtful people, however, might note its similarity to clauses that function as retained complements. However, in this case, what is retained is the subject--"That they had not thought of such a plan before surprised the mice very much." In this sense, it is a hybrid of the retained complement and the delayed subject. (See KISS Level 5.6 - Delayed Subjects and Sentences.)
13. "Me" is the subject and "ask" is the direct object of the infinitive "ask." The infinitive phrase is the direct object of "let." Note, by the way, that although the next clause can be, and usually is, explained as a separate main clause, it is also an appositive to "question."
14. The infinitive "to say" functions as a Delayed Subject -- "To say that something should be done is one thing. . . ."
15. We could view this "but" as joining compound predicate nouns, but the ellipsed "it" does not mean the same thing as the first "It."
16. "It" is the direct object of the infinitive "to do." This infinitive phrase functions as a Delayed Subject to the ellipsed "it."