Once it so happened that the people on earth were preparing for a special
feast. In a village house, someone had set out an enormous platter of
modakas to cool. "Aha!" cried Ganesha, when the aroma reached him, his trunk
twitching in delight. He hurried to the thatched house, and slipped in
unobserved through the back-door. Making himself comfortable he then began
to help himself with the modakas.
Soon even his tremendous belly was filled. Ganesha looked at the platter.
"There are still some left," he remarked in surprise. He picked up the last
few modakas and stuffed them into his mouth.
"That was good," he said, climbing on to the mouse's back. "Let us go." The
mouse started up obediently.
At that very moment a snake slithered across the threshold. The mouse
startled, tripped, and his master went flying off his back.
Alas, Ganesha's great stomach was like a sack that is too full and can hold
no more. When his body hit the ground, his stomach burst, spilling modakas
in every direction.
"Oh master, forgive me," said the mouse. "You are hurt."
"Shhh," said Ganesha, reaching out for the spilled modakas and hurriedly
trying to put them back into his stomach. "No one saw this happen."
Looking around for something to hold his belly together, he saw the snake,
still in the doorway.
"The very thing," said Ganesha, and he picked up the snake and tied it
around his waist like a belt, to hold in the modakas and keep his belly
He still wears the snake around his middle.
This description by Nitin Kumar, Executive Editor, Exotic India.
Krishnaswami, Uma. The Broken Tusk, Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha:
Calcutta, Rupa & Co, 1997.
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