THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN'S WIFE AND THE MUNGOOSE
"In a certain town, there lived a Brahmin, by the name of Dev Sharma. One day, his wife gave birth to a son. The very same day, a female mongoose gave birth to a baby mungoose, but she herself died.
"Out of compassion, the Brahmin's wife took the little mungoose and brought him up as her own son, giving him her own breast milk and bathing him in oil. However, she was always on her guard, thinking to herself, 'This mungoose has inherited the defects of his species and may some day harm my son.' She was a very fond mother. As they say:
"A son may be useless, conceited,
Ugly, stupid, badly behaved or wicked,
His parents will still dote on him."
"One day, the woman put her son to bed and then wanted to take her pitcher to fetch water. So she said to her husband, 'I'm going to the well to fetch water. Look after the baby and make sure the mungoose doesn't hurt him.'
"But after she had gone, the Brahmin also left the house and went to beg alms. Meanwhile, a black snake emerged from a hole. To defend the child, who was like a brother to him, the mungoose attacked his natural enemy, fought with him, bit him to pieces and killed him. His mouth and claws were all spattered with the snake's blood. Then, in his eagerness to show how brave he had been, the mungoose went and stood outside the house, waiting for the Brahmin's wife.
"But when she arrived and saw him covered with blood, the woman jumped to the conclusion that he had killed her son. She brought the heavy pitcher, full of water, down heavily on the mungoose and killed him on the spot.
"When she went inside, she found her child safe in his cradle, and a black snake, torn to shreds, lying near by. She was heart broken. She felt as though she had been guilty of killing her own son and she began to beat her breasts in self reproach.
"After some time, the Brahmin returned home. 'Damn you! cried his grief-stricken wife. 'Greedy fellow! You were so anxious for alms that you didn't listen to me. Now repent the loss of your second son, eat the fruit
of your greed. It's so true what they say:
"Be ambitious, within limits,
For when a man is too greedy,
A wheel whirls around his head:
That's what happened to Chakradhara
'How was that?' asked the Brahmin.
And his wife told The Story Of Chakradhara.