A Story With A Moral… The Frog And The Mouse.
Once upon a time, there was a mouse, which, whilst passing a pond witnessed a frog emerge from the depth of the pond. Astonished by this unusual sight, the mouse began to converse with the frog and through this, a very warm and friendly conversation took place. A very close friendship grew between the two of them, until it developed into a love relationship. By mutual arrangement, they appointed a specific time at which they could meet each other in the mornings daily and converse with each other for a long time. At these special meetings they use to enlighten each other with their own opinions regarding certain topics or they use to entertain each other with exciting stories regarding their past. Their hearts opened up to each other and were joy filled at the sight of one another.
One day the mouse said to the frog “You are swimming around in the water while I am left all alone on the dry earth. I suffer the pangs of sorrow over being parted from you. When lonely, I come to the edge of the water to call to you, but while you are in the water, even the voice of a lover cannot be heard. I cannot be at peace by meeting you for such a short time each day.”
The mouse replied, “O beloved frog: I cannot live a moment of my life peacefully without seeing your face. By day, the sight of you is my life: by night the thought of you is my tranquillity and sleep. It will be very courteous on your part that you will permit me the pleasure of meeting you time upon time at every opportunity possible.”
The mouse carried on by saying “My respected friend, I am a creature that can live on land alone, whereas you can live on land and in water. But how is it possible for you to know inside the water that I have the desire to meet you?”
For quite a while they pondered upon this and consulted each other until finally, the mouse put an opinion forward. This opinion was that one end of a piece of string is to be tied to the foot of the frog and the other end is to be tied to the foot of the mouse. Thus, when the mouse has a desire to meet the frog he will just need to pull the string and the frog will respond by returning to the surface of the water.
The frog considered the mouse’s suggestion to be a bad one and said in his heart, “This evil one, wishes to tie me up and make me live like a prisoner.”
Despite disliking the mouse’s suggestion, the frog found an inclination within himself to accept to the request.
The two of them, by pulling the string were able to meet each other repeatedly each day until destruction struck them one morning. A vulture seeing it’s pray i.e. the mouse, from high above soared down upon the mouse, it also unknowingly, lifted the frog out of the water where until now he was safe and comfortable. This was due to the fact that the string held the mouse and the frog together. Unfortunately, what fate awaited the mouse befell the frog as well. The vulture killed them both and devoured them. If the frog remained in the water and had not formed a friendship with the evil mouse, nothing would have happened to him and he would not have been the prey of the vulture.
Rumi uses this story as an example to draw our attention to the harms and effects of having bad company. It is a very good story with a powerful moral lesson. Rumi says: “In this story we see the soul, the self and the Shaytaan. The self represents the mouse, the soul represents the frog and the vulture represents the Shaytaan. The self, in order to satisfy its desires engages the soul in evil practises, endeavours to tie it with a string so that the soul indulges in these evil practises as well. When the soul reluctantly obeys the desires of the self and befriends the self, it allows the Shaytaan to pull it whenever it wishes. In this way the soul is also humiliated because of the contact with the self. Hence, when Shaytaan will go to hell, the self, who was in its beak, will also go to hell and so will the soul which was tied to the self. In this day and age, we live in the midst of bad people and evil company. By befriending these evildoers, we will eventually be affected by their foul doings and will also indulge in these sins. By indulging in things that are wrong, we will only become more and more sinful and we will be dragged with the evildoers into Jahannam, which is the totally the opposite direction to where we should be heading. Whereas if we are to befriend the pious, we will be affected by their good deeds and we will eventually get in to Jannah.”
My dear respected readers, we have been given two choices only, but the big question is, which one will we choose? In this world we are not forced to do anything, we act upon our desires.
May Allah grant us the ability to choose what is right and may he the Almighty grant us protection from one’s self and from Shaytaan. Aameen.