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A Mouse Maiden

Once upon a time there was a little mouse in the house of an old magician. Every day the lonely magician used to feed the mouse with cooked rice. He liked the mouse very much. As he had no children of his own he thought of changing the mouse into a girl. By using a magical mantra, he transformed the little mouse into a beautiful little girl. They lived happily for years. In course of time this little girl grew up to be a beautiful maiden. Soon, she reached her marriageable age. The old magician knew that the time to look for a suitable bridegroom had come for her. He thought as he was growing old he might die very soon. So before his death he wanted to find out what kind of person she wanted as her husband. One day he called the mouse-maiden to his room and said to her, You are like a daughter to me. Now you have become a maiden, the time for your marriage has come. Tell me what kind of person you want as your husband. The mouse-maiden thought for a while and said, Father, I want to marry the strongest person on this earth. The old magician said, Tell me, who is the man in your mind? The innocent mouse-maiden said, I want to know which one is stronger between the sun and the cloud. I want to marry the stronger one. This had put the old magician into a dilemma as it was not possible either to marry the sun or the cloud. So he said to her, The sun rises every day. It is strong and bright. But the cloud has the power to fill the whole sky with dark clouds and block the sunlight. So the cloud is stronger than the sun. The mouse-maiden said, Then I will marry the cloud. The old magician smiled and said, Though the cloud can block the sunlight, but it cannot rise above the mountain top. So the mountain is stronger than the cloud. The mouse-maiden said, Then, I will marry the mountain. The old magician smiled again and said, The mountain may be taller and stronger than the cloud, but a mouse can easily

make hole in the mountain. So a mouse is stronger than the mountain. The mouse-maiden said, Then I will marry the mouse. Now the old magician knew that this was the right choice for the mouse-maiden. So he said a magical mantra and changed the maiden into a mouse again. After that, the she-mouse married a he-mouse and they lived happily forever.