Panchatantra: The Marriage Of A Snake
Once upon a time, in a small village, there lived a Brahmin and his wife. The only sorrow of their life was that they had no children. They used to pray day and night to God for a child. After years of praying, they ......
Once upon a time, in a small village, there lived a Brahmin and his wife. The only sorrow of their life was that they had no children. They used to pray day and night to God for a child. After years of praying, they were finally blessed with a child, but to everybody’s shock, the child turned out to be not a normal baby, but a snake!
The friends and relatives of the Brahmin couple advised them to get rid of the snake as soon as possible. But the Brahmin’s wife just would not hear of any such thing. So, they continued to bring up the snake as their own baby.
Time passed, and soon the snake reached marriageable age. The Brahmin couple started to look for a suitable wife for their snake son. The Brahmin travelled to many cities, towns and villages searching for a suitable girl but everywhere he met with disappointment. He told his wife to give up the idea of getting their son married because no girl would like to marry a snake. The Brahmin’s wife insisted and encouraged him to go on looking.
The Brahmin did not know where to go. Perplexed, he went to consult an old friend. “I wish you had told me about this earlier, friend,” the Brahmin’s friend said. “I could have saved you all the trouble. I myself have a daughter who is of marriageable age and I would only be too glad to get her married to your son.”
The Brahmin was overjoyed on hearing this. Although many people protested against the marriage, it was fixed because the girl herself wanted to marry the snake. After the marriage, the snake and the girl started living as an ideal married couple. The girl was completely devoted to her husband and used to take proper care of him. At night, the snake used to sleep in a basket next to the girl.
One night, when the girl was sleeping, the snake crawled out of the basket. A few moments later, he was transformed into a handsome young man. He woke up the girl, who screamed on seeing an seeing an unknown man in the room. The man calmed her down and explained that he was her husband, the snake. The girl still did not believe the man and asked him to show her how he changed from a snake to a man. So, he went back into the empty shell of the snake and came out again, as a man. The girl was delighted. When the Brahmin and his wife heard about this secret, they too were very happy.
One night, the Brahmin decided to keep watch over his son. As soon as his son came out of the snake’s body in the form of a young man, the Brahmin picked up the empty covering of the snake skin and threw it into the fire. The son realized what had happened. He went up to his father and said, “Thank you, dear Father. You have saved my life by destroying my outer covering. Now I am free from the curse and I shall never be transformed into a snake again.”
Thereafter, the Brahmin, his wife and their son and daughter-in-law began to lead a normal and happy life. All their friends, relatives and well-wishers were also happy for them. Thus, after going through a long period of difficulties and unhappiness, the Brahmin’s family finally found happiness. That is why it is said that after the rains, comes sunshine.
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