43. The Hermit and the Jumping Rat

The Hermit and the Jumping Rat

On the outskirts of a small village, there was a temple, in which, there lived a pundit. He used to perform pooja in the nearby villages. In the evening, after he had finished his meals, he would keep the remaining food, if any, into a bow. He would hang the bowl puon a hook, which was attached to the ceiling by means of a string.

There, in the same temple, lived a fat rat. He was so fat that he didn’t fear even the cats. He would come out of his hole during the night time and jump over to the hanging bowl and eat whatever food available in it. The next morning, when pundit would open the bowl, he would find it empty. This went on daily. The pundit became very sad. He didn’t know how to drive the rat away from the temple.

Once a hermit from another village came to stay with the pundit. The pundit had no food to offer to his guest. He became embarrassed and talked about his problem with the hermit.

“Don’t worry”, said the hermit. “We must find the hole where the rat lives and destroy it. The rat must have stored a large quantity of food in the hole. It’s this hoard’s smell that gives strength to the rat to make high jumps and reach the food bowl.

So the pundit and the hermit together traced the rat’s hole. They dug it up and destroyed the food stock stored there by the rat.

The rat become frustrated to see his food stock destroyed. He lost his vital energy to make high jumps. He had to go hungry now. He became weak due to hunger and left the temple in search the food. While he was running around in search the food a hungry cat spotted him. The cat pounced upon him and killed him.

Moral:– The wealth does give strength.

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