Panchatantra: The Sage’s Daughter
Once upon a time, there lived a sage. The sage used to go to the river everyday to pray. One day, while the sage was praying in the river, an eagle flying above him dropped a mouse that it had caught as prey. When ......
Once upon a time, there lived a sage. The sage used to go to the river everyday to pray. One day, while the sage was praying in the river, an eagle flying above him dropped a mouse that it had caught as prey. When the sage opened his eyes, he found the little mouse in his hands. He took the mouse home and showed it to his wife. Since the sage and his wife did not have any children, they decided to keep the mouse as a child. The sage, with his extraordinary powers, changed the little she-mouse into a pretty girl child. The sage and his wife brought up the girl like their own daughter.
When the girl grew up into a beautiful young lady, at the age of sixteen, the sage decided that it was time to get her married. He thought that the Sun God would be a suitable match for his daughter. So, the sage prayed to the Sun God and asked him to marry his daughter. But the girl said, “I am sorry, Father, but I cannot marry him. He is so bright and his heat is so intense that I will be reduced to ashes.” The sage was disappointed. He asked the Sun God to suggest another groom for his daughter. The Sun God replied that the Lord of the Clouds would be a suitable match for the sage’s daughter because a cloud can easily stop the sun’s light and can reduce its heat.
So, the sage prayed to the Lord of the Clouds and asked him to marry the girl. But the girl rejected the Lord of the Clouds saying that she did not want to marry someone as dark as him and also that she was scared of the thunder that he produced. Again, the sage was upset and asked the Lord of the Clouds to suggest a groom for his daughter. The Lord of the clouds said, “You should get your daughter married to the Lord of the Wind as he can easily blow me away.”
The sage then prayed to the Lord of the Wind to appear and asked him to marry his daughter. But the daughter rejected him too, saying, “Oh Father, I cannot marry someone as feeble as him. And he doesn’t stay in one place—he is always moving about.” Dejected, the sage asked the Lord of the Wind for advice. The Lord of the Wind suggested that the Lord of the Mountain would be a suitable groom for the sage’s daughter since he could stop the wind easily.
So, the sage went to the Lord of the Mountain and requested him to get married to his daughter. But, the daughter did not want to accept him as her groom. She said, “He is so cold-hearted. Please, father, can’t you find someone softer?” Now, the sage did not know whom to go to. He could not think of any more suitable grooms for his daughter. He requested the Lord of the Mountain to suggest a groom. The Lord of the Mountain said, “A mouse will be a suitable match for your daughter because he is soft, but he can still make holes in a mountain easily.”
This time, the sage’s daughter was happy with the match. “I would like to marry a mouse very much, Father,” she said. The sage was happy and said, “That’s destiny, my child! You began your life as a mouse and you were destined to marry a mouse.” He turned the girl back into a mouse. She was married to a nice, suitable mouse and they lived happily ever after.
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