The Mouse-Maiden

A brahmin rescued a mouse from a hawk and turned her into a girl.
When she grew up, she needed a husband.
"I want the most powerful husband!" she said.
"Sun is very powerful," thought the brahmin.
"Sun, marry my daughter," he said.
"Cloud is more powerful," said Sun. "Cloud can cover me."
"Wind is more powerful," said Cloud. "Wind can blow me."
"Mountain is more powerful," said Wind. "Mountain can block me."
Mountain said, "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.


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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