120. The Brahmin and his Mouse-Daughter



A brahmin rescued a mouse from a hawk and turned her into a girl.
She grew up and needed a husband.
"I want the most powerful husband!" she said.
The brahmin thought Sun was the most powerful.
"Sun, marry my daughter," he said.
"Cloud is more powerful," said Sun. "He covers me."
Cloud said, "Wind is more powerful; he pushes me."
Wind said, "Mountain is more powerful; he blocks me."
Mountain said, "The mouse is the most powerful; he gnaws my foundations."
"Make me a mouse again!" said the girl, and thus she married the most powerful husband: a mouse.

Inspired byThe Panchatantra, translated by Arthur Ryder.
Notes: It is in Book 3, Story 14. This is one of the most famous chain-tales in the world. I have written an interactive version here: The Mouse-Bride.

Here is an illustration by Grandville for a version by the French fabulist La Fontaine:


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