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The Invisible Link of Life

There once lived a carefree mouse on a farm. She enjoyed her humble life searching for scraps of food and looking after her little home, a tiny hole in the storeroom of a farm house. She was on good terms with all the other animals on the farm, and even had no fear of the farm cat, which was too well fed to bother her!

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One day the mouse happened to look through a crack in the farm house wall when she saw the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" she wondered. She was devastated by what she saw. It was a mousetrap!

Retreating to the farmyard where all the other animals resided, the mouse sent out the warning in a shrill cry:  "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" Strangely there was only silence in return; it did not seem to perturb any of the animals. She was hoping to rouse the others to help her out of this dire situation, but everyone went about their business in cold nonchalance.

After a few seconds of quietness, the rooster clucked, came over, and rather proudly said, “Mrs. Mouse, I can tell this is of grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. Besides, I have my work to do." He, casually and callously, went back to scrapping in the dirt for bugs and making his cries every other minute. A noisy bird indeed!

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The mouse now turned to the pig and pleadingly repeated, "There is a mousetrap in the house! Can you help me, please?"  The pig sympathised, like most of us do, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mrs. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it. Anyway, I am never invited into the house." As if nothing had happened, the pig happily returned to the mud and began to roll away gleefully.

The mouse next turned to the horse and politely said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! You are such a powerful animal. Please do something about it." The horse felt flattered. "Yes, Mrs. Mouse, I am the Master’s blue-eyed boy! But, you know I’m so sorry for you; I do not know what I can do for you. You are in my prayers though."

Three continuous rejections dejected the mouse terribly. She looked at all the other animals and everyone seemed already ready with some excuse or the other. So, the sad mouse returned to the house, completely crestfallen. With no options left, she prepared herself for the worst. She decided to face the farmer's mousetrap – alone!

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That very night a thumping sound was heard throughout the house - the sound of a mousetrap snapping shut on its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.  Since it was pitch dark, she could barely see anything at all. Expecting a mouse to have got caught in the trap, she got to the spot.

And before she knew what was waiting for her, suddenly something bit her. She let out a loud cry. It was a snake that had bitten her! The snake simply retaliated because actually it was its tail which was caught in the mouse trap and the reptile was just as terrified as the farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed his dear wife to the hospital. She returned home alive, but she was severely sick with fever, terrible headache and body spasms. She became sensitive to sound; every little noise would irritate her to no end. A slight noise increased the pain in her head exponentially. Now, it was the rooster who was at the root of all her problems. By force of habit, it crowed ceaselessly, a million times everyday. The farmer immediately sold the bird away at the market.

The farmer’s wife condition still was pathetic. She kept shivering day and night; slowly her situation became very grave. A doctor in the valley had quite a reputation as a healer using expensive herbal remedies. Determined to save his wife, come what may, the desperate farmer approached this doctor for help. He didn’t have the money, so, he gave his pig to a friend in exchange for much needed cash to pay for the healer’s fees and medicines. Unfortunately, this too did not help. His wife’s condition was only getting worse.

The poor farmer was now rushing to the other doctors from the nearby city. Everyday he travelled on his horse to get these experienced physicians. The poor horse had to make many rushed trips everyday for his tensed master. In the process, not only was the farmer tired but his horse too was totally worn out. Not used to tedious labour, one fine day, it turned lame and finally collapsed. He now only stayed in the stable. The farmer was obviously miffed whenever he would see the horse, idle in his corner. The horse was extremely miserable when the mouse called to offer her sympathies to him.

The tiny mouse watched all these events and felt sad. She only wished that her old friends had been more caring and considerate about her situation. She knew it was a way of life giving them a taste of their own medicine.

Bhagavan Baba tells us that we are all part of society; in fact, every individual is a limb of the society, and society is the limb of God. Therefore, whether we realise it or not, we are inextricably connected in so many ways; we cannot be insensitive to another’s joys or sorrows. We can be happy only if we care for others as much as we are concerned about ourselves. And in essence, it is the message conveyed in every religion and every festival. Bhagavan once beautifully said,

“Man should strive to use every talent and skill given to him not only for his own benefit but also for the good of the world. Man owes everything to society for all that he has received from it.”

Illustrations: Ms. Vidya, Kuwait

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 7 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2009
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