The Mouse-Girl and The Sage - Panchatantra Stories

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On the bank of the river Ganga, there was a beautiful ashrama. In this ashrama lived saints, who were always absorbed in meditation. Their bodies had grown lean with fasting, penance and rigorous self-discipline They are roots and fruits and drank only holy water from the Ganga. They wore clothes made of bark.

In this ashrama was one Yadnyavalky. One day, while he was bathing in the holy water of the Ganga and offering his prayers, a mouse suddenly dropped by a hawk, fell into his hands. Yadnyavalk plucked a leaf from a nearby tree and put the mouse on it.

Then the saints took a second bath, to purify himself, because he had been contaminated by touching the mouse. By the power of meditation, he transformed the female mouse into a little girl.

Then he took her home to the ashram and said to his wife, ‘My dear wife, we have no child of our own, so please take this little girl and bring her up carefully, as our own daughter.’

So, the child was brought up with great care until she attained the age of marriage.

When Yadnyavalky’s wife noticed that the girl had reached the marriageable age, she said to her husband, ‘My dear, the time for our daughter’s marriage is slipping by. Please give it a serious thought.’

‘You are right,’ he replied. ‘I shall give her to someone who really deserves her. They say, “Enter into marriage ties and friendship only with those who are, socially and financially, your equals.” And, “a wise man should give his daughter in marriage to someone who fulfills the following seven requirements-Good family, good character, the capability to look after a family, Education wealth, physical fitness and suitable age.” ‘And so, if the girl agrees, I shall summon sun God and give her to him.’

‘Yes,’ replied his wife, ‘Please do that.’

“Then by the power of invocation, Yadnyavalky summoned the Sun God to him.

In a moment he appeared before him and said, why have you called me?

‘Here is my daughter,’ replied Yadnyavalk, ‘If she is willing to marry you, please accept her hand.’

Then he asked his daughter ‘Do you accept the sun God who lights up the worlds as your husband.

‘Father,’ she replied, he is too fiery-tempered. I don’t want to marry him. Find me someone better!

On this, the Saint said to the Sun God, ‘My Lord, is there anyone better than you?’

‘Yes,’ replied the Sun God. Cloud, is superior to me, for when he covers me, I am no longer visible.

And so the Saint invited the Cloud and asked his daughter, ‘My child, may I offer your hand to the Cloud?’

Father, she replied, ‘he is dark and too cold. I don’t want to marry him. Find me someone better!’

“The Saint said to Megha, ‘Oh cloud, is there anyone better than you?’

‘Yes,’ replied the Cloud. Air is superior to me, for he makes me drift.’

“And so, he invited the Lord of the Wind and said to his daughter, ‘What do you say to him?’

‘Father,’ she replied, ‘he is very changeable. I don’t want to marry him. Find me someone better.’

“So, he said to the Lord of the Wind, ‘My Lord, is there anyone better than you?’

Yes,’ replied the Lord of the Wind. ‘The Mountain is superior to me, for, although I am strong, he prevents me from blowing.

“And so, he invited the mountain and said to his daughter, ‘Now I am offering you to Mountain. What is your opinion?

‘Father,’ he replied, ‘he is very hard and immovable. I don’t want to marry him. Find me someone better.’

“So, he said to the Mountain, ‘Oh Mountain! Is there anyone better than you?’

‘Yes,’ replied the Mountain. ‘The mice are superior to me, for they bore holes in my body.’

And so, he invited the king of mice, and said to his daughter, ‘Now, my little daughter, I’m going to offer you to this king of mice. Do you like him?’

When the girl looked at the king of mice, her whole body began to quiver with delight and she said to her father, ‘Oh father he is the best of all! Please transform me into a female mouse, so that after my marriage to the king of mice, I shall be able to perform the household duties.

“By the power for his meditation, the Saint turned her back into a female mouse and gave her in marriage to the king of mice, “And so,” continued Raktaksh, “That’s why I said, ‘Turning down the offers of marriage Made by the Sun God the Cloud, the Lord of the Wind, and the Mountain, A female mouse chose a husband of her own kind. “Therefore, even if this crow is reborn an owl, he would still be a crow, at heart So we must kill him.”

However, in utter disregard of Raktaksh advice, the owls took the crow right into their cave.

On the way, the crow smiled and thought to himself, “Raktaksh alone is an expert, for he was right in advising them that I should be killed. If they had listened to him, there would have been no possibility of their coming to harm.”

When they reached the entrance of the cave, Arimaradan, the owl king, said to his servants, “Please assign the crow a suitable place in the cave. This Sthirajeevi is our well-wiser.”

When Sthirajeevi heard this, he thought to himself, “I have to work out a plan to destroy these owls. Now, if I stay amongst them, they may get suspicious and discover from my behavior, my real purpose. So I shall stay at the cave entrance and plan what I have in mind.”

So, he said to the king of the owls, “Your Majesty, it’s very nice of you, but I would prefer not to stay inside with you, for I belong to clan which is your enemy. So, I’ll stay here at the entrance of the cave. I hold you in high esteem. The dust of your lotus feet shall sanctify me and I shall be your servant forever.”

“Then, so be it,” replied the king. And Sthirajeevi was given a comfortable place at entrance of the cave.

By the order of Arimaradan, the servants began to feed Sthirajeevi on various choice foods and bits of flesh and, in a few days, he became as fit as a peacock.

When Raktaksh saw the crow being well-fed and getting fat, he said to the king. “Your Majesty! I think all of you are being very unwise. As the bird said, First I was foolish, then the hunter, then the ministers and then the king, We are all a Bundle of fools.”

“How was that?” asked the owls. On this Raktaksh told this story. GOLDEN DROPPINGS

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