There was once a dog who used to snap at people and bite them without any provocation, and who was a great nuisance to everyone who came to his master’s house. So his master fastened a bell round his neck to warn people of his presence. The dog was very proud of the bell, and strutted about tinkling it with immense satisfaction. But an old dog came up to him and said, “The fewer airs you give yourself the better, my friend. You don’t think, do you, that your bell was given to you as a reward of merit? On the contrary, it is a badge of disgrace.”

From this passage, you can infer that the Aesop fable is teaching:

Being noticed does not always mean you are famous.


The last sentence of this passage implies the message by calling the badge a “disgrace.” Therefore, the dog could not have been cleverer than he was given credit for. Furthermore, it proves the old dog did indeed understand the true meaning of the bell. The author states outright that the bell was to warn others.

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