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The Mice and the Elephants
Long ago there was a beautiful city with many big temples and houses. The city was prosperous and its residents were always very happy and cheerful. There was a big and clean lake near the city. The water of the lake was very sweet.
But with the passage of time, the city turned into ruins and its residents migrated to far-flung towns and cities in other states. They took with them all their belongings, including their cattle, oxen, goats and horses. Even stray dogs and cats decided to follow the city residents and move out with them.
Only the city rats decided to stay. Even without any residents, the city’s natural vegetation provided enough food for the rats that they decided to stay there. The city was surrounded by lots of fruit trees. Now they could eat a variety of fruits and vegetables growing in the city. Gradually the number of rats increased and the entire city turned into a city of rats!
Many generations started living together in the city. There were grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, cousins and lots of baby mice. It was a big family of rats. They used to organize their own festivals and get-togethers. They took great care of each other both in sickness and in health.
There was a very dense forest far away from the city. A huge river ran through the forest, which supplied clean water to all the animals living in the forest. Among the animals there was a large herd of elephants. Elephants lived in harmony with other animals in the forest. The forest provided them with ample food, water and shelter.
During one summer, the river dried up due to very little rain. Animals in the forest started dying of thirst. The queen of the elephant herd told all the young elephants to go in all directions in search of water. After a few days, an elephant came back to the queen elephant and told her about the lake near the city of rats. Queen Hathini immediately ordered the herd to leave the forest and go towards the lake.
As soon as the herd saw the lake, they started running towards it. They had not been in the water for several months and could not stop themselves from heading towards the lake. In his excitement he did not even notice that hundreds of rats were being crushed under his feet.
The rats tried to save themselves, but many rats were killed and injured. They also feared that the elephants would inadvertently trample many more people while returning from the lake. An old mouse suggested that they should go and tell the whole incident to Queen Hathini. Furthermore, they should request the queen elephant to move the herd to another route.
The rats did as the old rat suggested. Queen Elephant was very sad about the damage that the group of rats had done to the city of rats. He assured the rats that the herd would take a different route on their way back to the forest and would never come near the rats’ town. The old mouse thanked the queen for understanding his concern. He also told the queen that the mice family would always be ready to help the elephants if needed.
Several months elapsed. The king of a nearby kingdom was raising an army and wanted a lot of elephants for his regiment. His servants went into the forest and laid a trap to catch the elephants. They dug deep trenches, covered them with leaves and placed lots of bananas on them.
Elephants got trapped in the net while trying to reach the bananas. The servants pulled out the trapped elephants with the help of other tamed elephants. As soon as they came out of the trenches, the servants tied them to trees with the help of thick ropes and went back to inform the king.
Queen Hathini was also one of those trapped. She remained calm and started thinking of a way to escape. Immediately, he thought of the old mouse and his promise to help the elephants when needed. He called one of the young elephants who had not fallen into the ditch and was still free. He asked the young elephant to go to the city of rats and tell him the whole incident.
The young elephant did as instructed. Soon, thousands of mice rush into the forest to help their friends in their hour of need. Within minutes, they cut the ropes with their sharp teeth. We free elephants again.
The queen elephant thanked the old mouse for remembering the promise and freeing the elephants from their captivity. The old mouse was happy that the mice were able to help the elephants and thus repay their debt.
Elephants and rats became very good friends. After this they always lived in peace.
Moral story:- The Mouse and the Elephant” means that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
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