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The Wedding of the Mouse

Bharati Dayal

Crafts Museum

Crafts Museum
New Delhi, India

Once upon a time there lived a sage. He went every day to the river to pray. One day, while he prayed, an eagle flying above dropped a mouse that it had caught as prey. When the sage opened his eyes, he found the little mouse in his hands. He took the mouse home and showed it to his wife. Since the sage and his wife did not have any children, they decided to keep the mouse as their child. The sage, with his extraordinary powers, changed the little she-mouse into a pretty girl child, and with his wife brought her up like their own daughter. She grew into a beautiful young girl. When she turned sixteen the sage decided it was time to get her married. He thought that the Sun God would be a suitable match, so he prayed to him and asked him to marry his daughter. But the girl said, “I am sorry, Father, I cannot marry the Sun God. He is so bright, his heat so intense, I will be reduced to ashes.” The sage was disappointed. He asked the Sun God to suggest another groom. The Sun God said the Lord of the Clouds would be a suitable match because a cloud can easily block the sun’s light and reduce its heat. So, the sage prayed to the Lord of the Clouds and asked him to marry the girl. But again, she rejected the offer, saying she did not want to marry one as dark and thunderous as him. Again, the sage was upset and asked the Lord of the Clouds to suggest a groom. The Lord of the Clouds said, “You should get your daughter married to the Lord of the Wind as he can easily blow me away.” The sage then prayed to the Lord of the Wind and asked him to marry his daughter. But the daughter rejected him too, saying, “Oh Father, I cannot marry someone as feeble as him. And he doesn’t stay in one place, he is always moving about.” Dejected, the sage asked the Lord of the Wind for advice. The Lord of the Wind suggested that the Lord of the Mountain would be a suitable groom since he could block the wind easily. So the sage went to the Lord of the Mountain and requested him to marry his daughter. But, the daughter said, “He is so cold-hearted. Please, father, can’t you find someone softer?” The bewildered sage requested the Lord of the Mountain to suggest another groom. The Lord of the Mountain said, “A mouse will be a suitable match for your daughter because he is soft yet he can easily make holes in a mountain.” This time, the sage’s daughter was delighted. “I would like to marry a mouse very much, Father,” she said. The sage was happy and said, “That is destiny, my child! You began your life as a mouse and you were destined to marry a mouse.” He turned the girl back into a mouse. She was married to a suitable mouse and they lived happily ever after.

Details

  • Title: The Wedding of the Mouse
  • Creator: Bharati Dayal
  • Location: Bihar
  • Physical Dimensions: Vegetable dyes and acrylic colours on handmade paper, 23 X 19 inches
  • Provenance: Bihar
  • Type: Madhubani Painting

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