The tale of a mole searching far and wide for the world’s most worthy husband for his daughter. His new son-in-law surprises not only the mole, but it will surprise you as well!
This story begins long ago, in a deep mountain valley. It was no ordinary valley. There was a wide peaceful river flowing through the middle, and a gigantic red sandstone statue towering above it. It was an ancient statue of Buddha.
His motionless eyes looked down on the fragrant woods around him and his stone ears listened to the river’s merry bubbling. In this valley, just under the loamy ground and safely hidden in the shadow of the statue, lived Mr and Mrs Mole.
Mr Mole was happy as a clam, because his family had just welcomed a new member – a beautiful baby girl. Mr Mole looked at his daughter and knew right then and there that she was the most beautiful mole girl in the whole world. He decided that he would find the mightiest husband for her once she grew up. She couldn’t marry anyone else because she was so special.
But who was the mightiest in the world? Mr Mole spent years looking for an answer to that question. He asked every neighbour and every stranger who passed by his house. He even paid a visit to the Mole King himself. In the end, the moles all agreed that the blue sky was the mightiest of all things. After all, it was so big it covered the entire Earth!
And so Mr Mole set out on a long journey, all of the way up to the skies. Up there in the infinite blue he could hear the chirping of birds and see the entire world down below him. Mr Mole bowed politely and said: “Oh magnificent sky, you are the mightiest of all. I would like to offer you my daughter as a bride.”
But the sky declined his offer politely. “Oh no, Mr Mole. I’m not the mightiest in the world. You must go to the sun. I owe my beauty to its light. When it sinks down at night, I vanish as well. You should offer your beautiful daughter to the sun instead.”
Mr Mole was surprised, but after he thought about it he had to agree. He made his way to the fiery sun. He bowed before him as well, but the sun was so bright and magnificent he couldn’t even look at him directly.
He offered him his daughter just as he had offered her to the sky earlier, but the sun, the burning, shining sun, also politely declined. “I cannot take your daughter, for I am not the mightiest in the world. Go to the cloud. The cloud can easily block my light, leaving no trace of my beautiful sunshine.”
That was true, he realized. So Mr Mole didn’t have any choice but to go and seek the powerful cloud. When he finally found it, the cloud was stormy, dark and illuminated with lightning. There was a horrible thunder rumbling inside him.
“You must be the mightiest of all things,” said Mr Mole, truly impressed, and offered the cloud his daughter’s hand. He couldn’t believe his ears when the cloud started hooting with laughter. “You’ve got it all wrong, Mr Mole!” the cloud finally managed to say, with thunder still roaring in his guts. He couldn’t stop laughing. “See for yourself how mighty I really am! The wind only has to blow a little and I go flying wherever it commands. Go to the wind. The wind is the mightiest of all things, believe me!”
Sighing at the truth of it, Mr Mole had to set out on his journey once again to seek the howling wind. He found the wild wind blowing through the trees, whistling so strongly the branches on the poor old pines were nearly breaking.
Mr Mole bowed politely and explained why he came. The wind was gusting and spinning around and blustering through the trees, whirling the pine needles and not stopping for a second.
“Look over there, Mr Mole,” howled the wind. “Can you see the statue by the river? That statue is mightier than me. I push at it with all of my strength every day. I blow and I gust, but the statue doesn’t move an inch. I whirl dust right into its eyes, but it doesn’t even blink. I have no power over it. Only the stone Buddha deserves your beautiful daughter.”
And so Mr Mole, after he had travelled the world, had finally returned back to his wonderful and familiar valley. He stopped at the heels of the statue. It was so high he almost couldn’t see its eyes from there. Buddha had been proudly sitting there for hundreds and hundreds of years.
He paid no attention to the wind, the sun, or the storms, nor the twittering of birds or buzzing of insects. Nothing could disturb his peace. “I have finally found the mightiest of all,” rejoiced Mr Mole. He bowed before Buddha and offered him his daughter, the beautiful Miss Mole, as a bride.
“My daughter is so beautiful I can’t marry her to just anyone, you see. I’ve travelled the world and I haven’t found anyone mightier than you, stone Buddha. Nothing compares to you,” he said.
Everything fell quiet. For a moment, Mr Mole thought he wouldn’t get an answer.
Then he heard a deafening noise. It was the humongous statue, moving for the first time in hundreds of years. Buddha lowered his colossal stone head down to Mr Mole and said: “You are right, Mr Mole. No force can break me. Not rain, nor wind; not sun, nor darkness; not heat, nor cold; not fire, nor water.”
“Will you marry my daughter then?” asked little Mr Mole, finally getting his hopes up.
“I’m sorry, but I cannot,” said the red sandstone Buddha. “For I am not the mightiest after all. There’s someone even mightier than me.”
“How come you can’t marry her?” gasped Mr Mole in shock. “And who should, then?”
“In the ground, under my feet, there lives a mole,” said the statue. “It digs its tunnels all over the place, and it won’t be very long before it digs away my foundations. There’s nothing I can do about it. I will collapse to the ground one day and I may even shatter into millions upon millions of pieces. That mole is the mightiest of all. That mole deserves your daughter.”
Mr Mole’s journey was finally over. He returned home with his heart light. He chose a nice young mole lad from a neighbouring valley to marry Miss Mole. The wedding was wonderful. The birds chirped and cicadas played their fiddles during the feast.
All of the moles from the valley came to congratulate Mr Mole on finding such a splendid husband for his daughter – truly the mightiest choice of all!