yes,' Sri Nag interrupted. 'But what
has all this to do with me?'
you will kindly allow me to finish,' Akhu said with dignity,
'ecology means in simple terms, a balance of
nature. When you began to well, I do not like to use the word cheat
let us say, renege, or, to be blunt, when you flouted the Law, You
disrupted that most excellent balance, which our society had enjoyed
for generations and generations past.'
Sri Nag was silent.
'You see,' Akhu started up again, 'it
is a simple matter of your svadharma. Moreover, as you must have
noticed, your wife and children are in a most lamentable condition.
You are not providing for them, nor are you permitting your wife to
provide for herself and the little ones. You are a householder, Sri
Nag; and yet you are acting like an ascetic.' Here he broke
into Sanskrit: '"Sreyan svadharmo
vigunah paradharmat svanusthitat" - "Better
is one's own duty, though defective, than..."'
know the meaning,' Sri Nag said mildly.
then, sir, we implore you to mend your ways. it would, after all, be
in the best interests of ... '
Sri Nag said. 'I have given my word to my
It was now Akhu's turn
to be silent. He and his colleagues knew there was no answer to
this. He opened and closed his mouth several times, and then,
shrugging his shoulders, turned and walked sedately away. The four
other mice folio . wed him in single file.