The Laughing Skull
There was once a lively village in the foothills of the great Himalayan Mountains known as Rampura. The residents of this village stayed in harmony with each other and with nature. They would celebrate all the festivals with huge joy and pomp. All the houses were also decorated with various decorative items. The residents joined in for the community feast and worshipped their village God to shower them with their blessings.
Moreover, the residents of this village were quite hard working. They hardly were dependent on the nearby towns for a regular supply of raw materials. Each person in the village was specialized in some task or the other. While some were specialized as blacksmiths others were experts in pottery and jewelry making. But there was one aspect that the villagers lacked, they were both quite superstitious and a coward at the same time.
For every small happening be it a deficit in rainfall or someone falling sick, the villagers believed it to be the work of some bad spirits or a witch who had cast a bad spell on the village leading to such bad happenings.
It was a full moon night when two villagers were returning home after enjoying their evening gossip session at their friend’s house. It was already 11: 45 pm when they left their friend’s house. The streets wore a deserted look and the only source of light was that of the moonlight. The two friends had reached just halfway to their home when they suddenly heard a noise that sounded more like a soft laugh. They looked around but could not spot anyone, the soft laughing sound continued and the two friends were now very scared.
To add to their helpless state they ultimately found the source of the soft laughing sound which was coming from a skull. When they moved closer to inspect it further the skull started moving on its own. The two friends now were scared like anything and started running to save their life. After reaching hone huffing and puffing they narrated the whole incident to their family members.
By the next morning, the news of this incident had spread like a wildfire in the entire village. All the villagers immediately rushed to the villager priest for help. The priest suggested certain puja and affirmed that after the puja the spirit of the person that resided in the skull will leave the village forever. The puja was performed successfully and all the villagers heaved a sigh of relief thinking that the trouble was now over.
The next day all the villagers together went to the place where the skull was spotted to see whether it was still there or not. To their fright, they found the skull still in that place moving and emitting the same soft laughter-like sound. A small courageous boy from the crowd now came forward and picked up the skull and immediately a small mouse came out of it. The villagers now realized how foolish they were and understood that it was this small mouse who was stuck inside the skull trying to come out that resulted in the movement of the skull and the sound.