Sunday, November 27, 2011

Glimpses from Mahabharata # 27 - Cat and Mouse

Here is another moral story from Maha Bharata:

There was a big tree in a dense forest, in one of whose branches there lived a cat.

In the same tree, in a hole near the root, there lived a mouse. They seldom crossed each other’s path and therefore could live happily.

One day a hunter saw the cat and immediately thought, “I could catch the cat and have a nice dinner.” He laid a net for the cat on the ground and left.

The cat, unaware of the peril that was awaiting him, fell into the net. Struggling in vain to free himself, he spied the mouse scampering nearby.

He called his little neighbour and appealed for help. The mouse was wary of helping the cat, but the cat reassured him, “I give my word that I would not harm you in any way if I come out of this net.”

The mouse was of a generous nature. So he cut the net with his teeth and set the cat free.

When the hunter returned he saw that his prey had escaped. He went away disappointed. The cat thanked the mouse profusely and proposed that the two of them should be friends.

The mouse replied, “I am honoured by what you say. But a person in my station cannot be friends with the cat-king. So please let me go my and you go your way.”

The cat saw the wisdom in the mouse’s words. He left that part of the forest and took up residence elsewhere.

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