Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-3

Arabian Nights Stories-3

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Story No 61

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61 - Tale of the Mouse and the Ichneumon*
Ichneumon = An African or Egyptian mongoose with gray coat and black tail. Egyptians believe that it devours crocodile's eggs.

Shaharzaad said - "O King, A mouse and an ichneumon once lived in the house of a farmer who was very poor. Once one of his friends got ill, so a doctor suggested him to eat husked sesame. So the farmer asked a man to give him the sesame for his friend. The man gave him a measure of sesame and he took it home to his wife and asked her to dress it. So she steeped it and husked it and spread it out to dry.

When the ichneumon saw the grain, she went up to it and started carrying it away to her hole. She carried it all day until she took away most of it. In the evening, when the farmer's wife came and found most sesame gone, first she stood wondering, then she sat down to watch who took her sesame. After a while came the ichneumon to carry the grain, but found the woman on vigil. She thought "I think this matter is now over here. She is sitting her to watch on me. Now there is no help for it, still I did a fair deed, now I can show my innocence and wash out all my ill doings."

So thinking, she began to take the sesame out of her hole and carry it to the place from where she took them. The farmer's wife stood up and saw the ichneumon doing this thought that - "This is not the cause of our loss, for she is bringing it back from his hole who has stolen it and is returning to its place. She is doing us good, and the reward for good should also be good. I am sure that she had not taken our grain and I will continue to watch for the one who had taken the grains."

Meanwhile the ichneumon went to the mouse and said to her - "O sister, That is not a good person who does not show loyalty in friendship." The mouse said - "I feel happy in your company and in your neighborhood, but why do you say this?" Ichneumon said - "The house master has brought some sesame and has eaten them to his satisfaction. Everybody has eaten it to his full, still he is left with much amount, if you take it, you will be wealthier than any other one."

This pleased the mouse and she went there where the sesame was laying to dry. She did not see that the farmer's wife was sitting there with a stick. She ran up to the sesame and began eating them. As the woman saw her eating, she hit her head with her stick and the mouse died then and there. This was the end of the mouse' greed and heedlessness of consequences."

End of Story No 61



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/12/14