A goddess called Parvati was annoyed by demons spying on her.
She created a sturdy young man with four arms to guard her rooms.
He was a good guard. He would not even let Parvati's husband, the god Shiva, pass.
Shiva was annoyed.
He made a beautiful dream figure rise up.
When the guard turned to look at the vision, Shiva cut off his head.
Parvati was very upset. Shiva promised to give her guard another head. It would resemble the first animal to pass them.
Some elephants went by.
Shiva gave Parvati' s guard the head of an elephant.
They called him Ganesha.
People worshipped Ganesha as a bringer of good luck. Ganesha loved to eat.
After one very long meal, Ganesha decided to take a ride in the moonlight.
Ganesha’s steed was a demon he had turned into a rat.
They had not gone very far when a snake leapt out at them.
The rat was so frightened he reared.
Ganesha was sent tumbling.
Ganesha hurt his fat stomach, so he used the snake as a bandage.
The moon and stars saw what had happened and laughed at Ganesha.
Ganesha was very angry.
He broke off one of his tusks and hurled it at the moon.
The moon's light went out and the stars scurried for cover.
Far below, the people were plunged into darkness.
They prayed to the gods to give them back of the light of the moon.
The gods summoned Ganesha and asked him to restore the moon.
But Ganesha was still angry.
Ganesha allowed the light of the moon to return, but only for a short while.
The moon would spend most of the time waxing and waning so his smile would never be very wide for long.
Satisfied, Ganesha was not angry any more.
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