HIMA - THE WHITE SQUIRREL OF
One day some cowherds brought dry firewood and stacked it in front of the kitchen of Ma Yashoda because her stock of firewood was exhausted. By chance a small white squirrel had got trapped in the dry boughs and thus arrived at the kitchen courtyard of Chief Nanda. Afraid of her new surroundings, she ran nervously first to one side, then to another.
On hearing that mellifluous voice the squirrel looked up and saw Krishna's enchanting face haloed in curls, on which rested a golden circlet with a peacock feather. She was no longer afraid but felt joyfully happy. As if in a trance the squirrel climbed on
In Gokul nobody had ever seen such a beautiful squirrel before. Everyone said, "She is not of the
And so she was called Hima, named after the
This little Hima was very, very intelligent. She had one curious habit: she began to steal dry fruits from the homes of the milkmaids of Gokul and heap them in
Once two of the milkmaids Gori and Madhu had an argument. Madhu said that Hima could not possibly be an ordinary squirrel, that surely some goddess had taken her form. Gori scoffed at this idea. Madhu asked,"Then why is it that not a single one of us, trying our best, has been able to hide the dry fruits in a place which is safe from Hima?" Gori took up the challenge.
She went home and made a tiny bundle of dry fruits and then hid that bundle inside a pillow, sure that it would be safe. Thus reassured and quite happy at this precaution she went to milk the cows. But for Hima it was only a work of seconds to locate the scent of the treasure. She nibbled very fast and when Gori returned she found not only the fruits gone but the pillow spoiled as well. When the other milkmaids saw the scattered cotton of the pillow they laughed and laughed at Gori.
Now Gori was truly annoyed. The next month she tied a new supply of special nuts tightly inside a piece of cloth. Then she put this packet in a small earthen pot. This pot she put into an even bigger pot and then she hung the whole thing on a long rope, hanging from the ceiling. Somehow Hima sensed the challenge. When she came to visit Gori she saw a big pot hanging on the rope to the ceiling. Her nose told her that there were special nuts inside, nuts which she wanted to take for her
a few nuts. Gori at last accepted defeat and started to store her nuts in a tin box.
Each morning when Ma Yashoda came to wake up her darling
Sometimes Ma Yashoda was upset about this. She didn't feel it was proper to take away flowers that had been offered to gods, but she didn't know how to punish this naughty Hima. On her side Hima felt all the beautiful and best things of the world were made for her
All the children dived and lay face down on the ground. Because of
This flying creature was a demon of King Kamsa disguised as a bird. For a long time he had been hovering in the sky, looking for an opportune moment to pounce upon
Now by a split second his claws missed
For a moment
The demon bird was flying farther and farther away. He was now like a black dot in the blue sky.
Then he sat upon a large rock. In a moment he became quiet. His anger left him. There was only a fierce determination in his heart to save Hima.
At last he took out his flute and started to play a sweet tune on it, the Raga of Sleep -- a strange tune which made the world feel drowsy.
The tune started spreading in the atmosphere. Its pure and clear notes were carried higher and higher. At last the demon bird heard the magic melody. Suddenly, as if for no reason at all, the demon bird started feeling lazy and sleepy. His wings beat slower and slower till he dozed and started falling towards earth. He tried his best but the notes of the flute as if enmeshed him in sleep. Falling like a stone he finally crashed just at the feet of
Hima was her usual happy self once again. She came out to perch on
(Picture courtesy www.krishna.com)