The Elephants and the Mice

- April 1, 2022

By Kayva Gokhale 

One particularly hot summer, all the lakes and rivers in a forest dried up. A herd of elephants living in the forest knew that they must find a source of fresh water, otherwise they would suffer from extreme thirst. Soon, after searching far and wide, one of the elephants found a huge lake full of fresh, clear water. Overjoyed, all the elephants, led by their kind and wise king, marched towards the lake.

A colony of mice had also made their home near the lake. When the thirsty elephants came marching towards the water, they trampled everything in their path. A lot of mice came under their heavy feet and lost their lives. That evening, the mice that had managed to survive, gathered to find a solution to this problem. The mice decided to speak to the king of the elephants and request him to not use the path on which their colony was settled.

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The next day, a small group of mice approached the king and told him of their worries. The king of the elephants was kind and compassionate. He immediately assured the mice that he would lead his herd through some other route and ensure that the mice were not harmed. The mice were relieved and grateful and in turn, they promised to help out the elephants whenever they were in need. The king smiled, convinced that these tiny mice could never help a majestic elephant, like him.

Script: Luis Fernandes, Illustration: M. Mohandas

The elephants and the mice settled into their lives by the lake. However, soon a problem arose. One day when some elephants entered the lake to wash themselves in the cool water, they found that their feet were trapped in thick ropes and that they could not come out, no matter how hard they tried! They realised that they had walked into a trap set by poachers, who wanted to capture them for their ivory tusks. In the evening, a group of poachers arrived and pulled the ropes and the elephants out of the water. They then tied the elephants to the nearby tree and left to make some arrangements.

The captured elephants were worried. They could find no way to free themselves, and even the king was out of ideas. Then, he suddenly remembered his mice friends. When one of the free elephants came to visit him later in the night, the king told him to go to the mice colony and ask for help.

Soon, the escaped elephant returned with the mice, who were distressed seeing their elephant friends in trouble. They got to work immediately and chewed through the thick ropes that the poachers had used.

Script: Luis Fernandes, Illustration: M. Mohandas

Within a few hours, the ropes gave way and the elephants were free once again! The king elephant thanked the mice for their help and realised how he had underestimated the mice due to their small size. From then on, both the elephants and the mice remained friends and kind neighbours to one another.

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Rama was happy living in the forest with his wife and brother. Palace intrigue may have forced his exile, but the next fourteen years promised to be quite pleasant. Suddenly, this idyllic life was thrown into turmoil. His beloved wife Sita was kidnapped! With unmatched skill as a warrior, Rama destroyed the ten-headed Ravana and along the way, he won a host of very grateful friends.

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