Once there lived a kind Brahmin in a small village with his wife. They had a little son. One day, as he was returning home from a nearby village, he came across a baby mongoose crying next to its mother’s dead body.
“Oh! poor creature,” thought the Brahmin. “If I leave it here it will surely die.” He picked it up and took it home with him.
“Gowri, I found this little creature on my way home. Let us take care of him,” he said to his wife. “Very well along with our son, I will take care of the mongoose also,” replied his wife.
The mongoose grew up with a lot of love and care in the Brahmin’s house. He slept next to the Brahmin’s son in the cradle, drank milk and played with the boy everyday. The baby mongoose’s days were full of joy in the Brahmin’s house. As both the boy and the mongoose grew up, their friendship changed to a relationship between two brothers.
The mongoose grew up fast and as days went by, the Brahmin’s wife began to get doubts in her mind. “After all, this is a wild animal. Sooner or later it will show its true colours,” she thought to herself. She put the mongoose’s bed separately and would watch him carefully when ever he played with her son.
One day when the Brahmin was away. Gowri decided to go to the river to fetch a pot of water. She looked around and saw her son sound asleep in his cradle. The mongoose was also asleep on the floor at the foot of the cradle. This should take only a few moments I hope I can trust that mongoose not to harm my little son,” she said to herself and after a final look at them both she hurried down to the river.
Suddenly, the mongoose woke up with a start. He had heard a very faint noise. Looking up, the mongoose saw a large black snake crawling in through a hole in the wall.
“The snake will harm my brother. Mother and father are away. I will have to protect my little brother,” thought the mongoose, as the snake came slithering towards the cradle.
The brave little mongoose pounced on the huge black snake. After a long, ferocious fight, the little mongoose finally managed to kill the snake.
Just then, he heard the Brahmin’s wife returning. Joyfully, he ran out to meet his mother and tried telling her through his little animal signs that he had protected his little brother from a dreadful snake.
But as soon as Gowri saw blood on the mongoose’s mouth and paws, she thought, “This wretched animal has killed my little son.” In a fit of anger the Brahmin’s wife threw the pot full of water on the mongoose killing him instantly.
Entering the house with a heavy heart, she was amazed to see her little son lying in his cradle still deep in sleep. On the floor was a huge black snake with its ugly head bitten off.
“Oh what have I done,” cried the Brahmin’s wife. “I killed that faithful little mongoose who saved the life of my precious son.”