To bell the cat


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to perform a very dangerous or very difficult task; - taken metaphorically from a fable about a mouse who proposes to put a bell on a cat, so as to be able to hear the cat coming.

See also: cat

References in periodicals archive ?
Let me garner the courage to bell the cat with this one- why, on God's green earth, would governors of Nigeria's 36 states approve the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to fight an already defeated Boko Haram in a meeting chaired by the Vice President?
A few minutes into the informal meeting at the gathering, attended by 17 state unit members, it was clear that everyone wanted Srinivasan to resign but none was ready to bell the cat.
At the Valdai dinner, it fell to Timothy Coulter, a Harvard professor, to bell the cat, to speak truth to power.
The national government does not have an easy job, but it has been the first government to try to bell the cat, to try to purge an institution that all previous administrations allowed to act with too much discretion.
Swarup, the man who dared to bell the cat, was unfazed by the criticism.
There may be only one way to bell the CAT, but there are many more ways to skin it.
He encourages me to bell the cat and cites the Hebrew proverb, "A noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.
Some one had to bell the cat and it fell to the destiny of General Pervez Musharraf, the chief of army staff, to bail the country out of the predicament.
While it's easy to identify the problems, the solutions are politically explosive; no one wants to bell the cat.
National security issues may be a bigger topic now, but it's not clear who's going to bell the cat.
If the proverbial mice decide to bell the cat, success will depend upon the cat's consent to wear a bell.