The Hermit And The Mouse

Long time ago, in the jungle of Malkand, there lived a hermit named Shalakya. Everyday at dawn he would take a dip in the holy Ganges, chant mantras, and worship God.

One evening when he was sitting near the banks of Ganges, he saw a small mouse hiding from the piercing eyes of a hawk. “Oh poor mouse! If I don’t take it along with me, the hawk would carry it off.”

So, Shalakya took the mouse to his hermitage.

“I will change this mouse to a girl,” he thought. “Then she would stay with me as my daughter, and look after me.” He transformed the mouse to a girl. He named her Apsara. With the passing years, she became a beautiful damsel. She took care of the hermit, brought flowers from the forest, and arranged for the puja. Shalakya decided to look for a groom for Apsara. Seeing the radiant beauty of Apsara, the hermit thought the Sun God would be the perfect match for her. He invited the Sun God with his spiritual powers.

The Sun God was spellbound by her beauty. “Ah! Beautiful maiden, would you like to marry me?” he proposed.

“I cannot marry you,” said. Apsara. “Your heat would be unbearable for me.”

The hermit then asked the Sun God, “Is there anybody more powerful than you; who would be worthy of my daughter?”

“The Cloud would make a better pair with Apsara,” he replied. “He can overcast me with his power.”

Then the hermit invoked the Cloud.

“The Cloud is like a vagabond!” said Apsara. “So I am not willing to marry him also.”

The cloud advised, “Mountain is more powerful than me. It can block my way.”

Now Shalakya invoked the mountain.

Apsara expressed her unwillingness. “The mountain is too heavy! I will be crushed under his weight!”

The mountain said, “The mouse would be the ideal match for you. He can dig up holes through me.”

Then sillakya called a mouse.

Apsara was delighted to see the mouse and thought it to be the perfect match for her. Seeing the glow on Apsara’s face the hermit transformed Apsara to a mouse.

The hermit blessed the Mouse couple and realized that.

Just by changing the outer appearance one cannot change one’s inner self.

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