Once there was a city. All the people had gone away from that city long ago. Now only mice lived there. They had dug holes in the ground and lived in them. So the city was now a city of mice.
One day a large herd of elephants passed through the city. They were on their way to the lake. As they marched through the city of the mice, their feet crushed the holes in which the mice lived. And thus thousands of mice were killed.
The rest of the mice held a meeting. “So many of us have been killed by these huge elephants,” they said. “If they come this way again, all of us shall be killed. We must ask them to find some other way back to their home.”
A number of mice went to the lake where the elephants had gone. They bowed before the king elephant and said, “O king, not far from here is our city. We have been living there for a long time. While going to the lake, you and your herd killed thousands of us under your feet. If you go that way again, we shall all be killed. Take pity on us. Go back from some other way. You may be thinking we are very small. But if you are ever in trouble, we shall come to your help.”
The elephant king thought over the matter. Then he agreed not to go through the mouse city again.
Time passed. Then one day the king of the country sent his men to trap the elephants. They caught the elephant king and his herd in a trap. Three days later they tied all the elephants to large trees with strong ropes.
When the trappers had gone, the elephant king thought, “How shall we escape from these ropes ? There is only one way. Those mice alone can save us.”
The elephant king called a cow elephant who had not been caught. “Go to the mice and tell them what has happened,” he said. “Ask them for help.”
When the mice learnt what had happened, thousands of them marched to the forest. Soon they cut all the ropes with their sharp teeth. The elephants were all freed.
And never did they go near a trap again.