Ganesha, remover of all difficulties…

A man,
a normal man,
just as extraordinary as any other ordinary person,
was walking in search of his fortune,
when suddenly he fell into a hole.

The hole was so deep,
he saw no way of getting himself out.

Hours passed,
and it became dark.

“Whatever will I do?”
he began to wonder,
and then worry,
and panic,
and finally scream and beat the rock with his hands
(which in no way got him closer to getting out,
and only made his hands sore).

He sobbed,
and starting to sing to himself a plaintive and sad song,
he noticed the fantastic acoustics in the hole.

Being as he was a lover of music and harmony,
he began to sing with increasing gusto and even joy,
forgetting completely his apparent misfortune.

He had a wonderful voice,
and the song resonating out from the hole carried to a nearby village,
where the nightwatchmen listened in a state of wonder and rapture.

Whilst 3 of them were too supersticious to leave the walls of the village at night,
the fourth went in search of the source of such increadible beauty.

He soon found the hole,
and shining his lantern into it,
saw a reddish glint,
but nothing else.

At the same time,
the music stopped.

Unsure what to make of this,
he wandered off,
confused.

With the lantern-light disappearning,
the man trapped in the hole called out,
but the watchman had receded into himself,
overcome by the unfamiliar sequence of events,
and so heard nothing.

In the fading light,
the man in the hole noticed 3 things near him;
a skeleton,
a pick
and a sack.

The skeleton he saw no use for,
and not being supersticious neither was he bothered by it.

The pick,
he realised,
could perhaps be used to tunnel his way out of the hole,

And looking in the sack
as the last lantern-light died,
he saw a red glimmer,
which was faintly echoed in the walls.

“Very pretty”,
he noted.

This was no time for prettiness,though.

He needed to get out of the hole!

So,
working all night with the pick,
and putting the bits of rock in the sack,
he gradually reached the surface.

Relieved,
and remembering his quest for fame and fortune,
he picked up the sack without thinking

(despite it being full of rock fragments,
it weighed less than nothing)

and went on his way.

Coming to a lake,
he stopped to drink,
when he saw that the water was teeming
with little,tiny mermen and merwomen.

“Help us!”,
they cried,
“for we are starving!”

“But I’ve no food,
not even for myself”
replied the man.

“But we can smell it,”
answered the creatures,
“you have the red rock!”

Remembering the sack,
which he had forgotten despite
(perhaps BECAUSE of)
the fact that he was carrying it,
he tipped into the water all the red jewels.

The water splashed and fizzed with thousands of little merpeople in a feeding frenzy,
then all was calm…

Looking into the lake,
the man caught his own reflection-
and saw that he had the head of an elephant,
though he could feel with his hands that he had a man’s body.

How strange!

He carried on his way,
until,
rounding a corner in the road,
he was suddenly surrounded by dozens of soldiers with assault rifles.

Just as he feared being killed,
or carried off,

the soldiers threw down their weapons and bowed before him.

“O Ganesh,
o bestower of favours,
o One who overcomes obstacles,
we have waited so long for You!”

cried one soldier,
who was older and wore a more complicated uniform.

“As prophecised,
surely now the war will soon be over!”

And a cheer went up.

And yes,
the war did finish very shortly afterwards,
and the people began to find solutions to all their problems,

for some reason putting the credit for this in Ganesh’s hands.

One day,
when Ganesh was becoming bored and frustrated with being venerated,
a statue was wheeled in which looked exactly like Ganesh.

The people partied and danced all around the statue,
seemingly not now even seeing the real Ganesh.

The elephant man/god (you take your pick),

somewhat puzzled,
but sensing danger,

took advantage of the distarction and left,

returning to the road,
the eternal road,

where he continued to seek his fortune,

which he now knew lay in finding,
and overcoming,
obstacles.

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