Saturday, November 26, 2011

Glimpses from Mahabharata # 26 - The Smart Cat

Here is one of the short stories which are embedded in the Maha Bharata:

A wicked cat reached a convenient spot in the forest where he pretended to do penance.

He was engaged thus for several days and became lean in the process.

First the birds, and then the mice, took him to be a true sage and started to move around him without fear.
They became so impressed with him that they started calling him uncle.

As the cat became emaciated and weak, the mice became concerned about his health. They asked him what they should do to help him recover.

The cat told them, “Let one of you come everyday and lead me to the riverside. If I drink the running water I shall be cured.”

Accordingly, a mouse was sent everyday to accompany the cat to the river. The cat would swallow the mouse as soon as they reached the river.

The cat grew fatter and fatter every day whereas the mice population kept dwindling. A wise mouse, Kilika, reasoned on these factors and decided to investigate.

One day he secretly followed the cat being led by the mouse to the river. When the two were near the river, the cat caught the mouse and swallowed it.

Kilika rushed back and told his friends the truth about the cat. The mice scattered and learned once more to keep away from the cat.

The cat had to move to another part of the forest in search of food.

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