Cat and mouse

Use the cat and mouse cartoon as a methaphor to reflect with your target group on power relationships

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Everything you need to play this game

A step-by-step guide to play the game


Ask the players to closely observe the cartoon of the cat and the mouse, starting with the first one on the left hand side of the board.


Ask one of the players to share his/her interpretation with the group. Ask questions such as:

  • What is the cat doing?
  • What is the mouse doing?
  • What's the role of the cheese?
  • Who is the stronger character?
  • How does the story end?
  • What happens next?

After describing the story, use the cat and mouse story as a metaphor to reflect on their own, real life situations. Ask questions like:

  • Are you sometimes confronted with power relationships?
  • Are you sometimes in a weaker position?
  • Are you sometimes in a stronger position?
  • How do you act towards 'stronger' people (police, parents, social worker, passers-by, older children...)
  • Can you think of somebody who is physically stronger than you? How do you interact with him/her?

Allow all the participating children to give their opinion on the cartoon. Listen carefully and facilitate the discussion. The message behind the activity is that somebody who is physically less strong, can be much stronger mentally.


Wrap up the activity by giving the children the time to write down their end of the story on the blackboard, sidewalk or on a paper.

Extra game information

The board shows us a cartoon of a cat and a mouse. The mouse is very cunning and manages to keep out of the cat’s claws, although in reality it usually is the other way around.

The children can tell stories based on the cartoon, but related to their own situation. At the bottom of the panel, you can draw three empty boxes where the children can draw or write down their own story or their own interpretation.

Street children often find themselves in a weak position. Many children are being abused by more powerful people (adults such as parents, acquaintances, police...). This exercise allows the children to switch roles and to tell their story from the powerful point of view. This method helps them to accept and to deal with their own situation, and can empower them (role reversal).

The message behind this activity is that somebody who is physically less strong can be much stronger mentally. The way things are represented on the panels helps street children to think how to solve problems instead of suffering everything passively.

The mouse for example can be the child; the cat can be a policeman. The cheese can represent the child’s drugs. As the child is telling his own story, he can determine how to interpret the different roles, so that he can switch roles and tell his story as if he were the cat and the policeman the mouse.


1. Allow the children to draw their interpretation of the story, or ask them to draw the end of the story.

2. Ask one of the children to tell a little part of the story. The next player needs to continue the story, based on the start of the first player. Continue this process - by testing the children's creativity and imagination - till every child has at least contributed two parts to the story.

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