Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/267

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211
HINDOO FABLES

"My daughter, here is the Wind, who seems in all ways to be the proper husband for you."

"My father," she replied, "the Wind is too variable. Summon some one else more powerful than the Wind."

The Holy Man asked, "Oh, Wind, is there any one who is greater than thou?"

The Wind replied, "The Mountain is greater than I; for, strong as I am, the Mountain can stop and hold me back."

Then Yajnavalkya summoned the Mountain, and said: "My daughter, if the Mountain pleases you I will give you to him in marriage."

"Father," answered the Girl, "the Mountain is too harsh and rough. I pray you, give me to some one else."

The Holy Man said to the Mountain, "Oh, King of the Mountains, is there any one greater than thou?"

The Mountain replied, "The Rats are more powerful than I; for, by the force of their constant gnawing they pierce holes in me, and tear my body asunder."

Accordingly, Yajnavalkya summoned a Rat, showed him to his daughter, and said, "My daughter, I will give you to this King of the Rats; do you choose him as a husband?"

When the Girl saw the Rat she thought to herself, "Here at last is one of my own species;" and, trembling with joy, she said: "Father, change me once again into a Mouse, and give me to the Rat, that I may perform the household duties ordained for one of my own species."

Accordingly, the Holy Man, by virtue of his great austerity and holiness, uttered the proper charms and incantations, changed the Girl once more into a Mouse, and gave her to the Rat in marriage.

(Panchatantra. Vol. III. Chapter 13.)