A king had a cozy, soft bed of which he was very proud. It was so
comfortable that even a king would sleep in spite of all his royal worries.
Usually his personal servants were very careful in maintaining it spotlessly
clean.. But servants are, after all, servants, and in time a lice could
cling on to the sheet .. may be the birth of the lice occurred in the hair
of the king. Anyway it was having a swell time there.. the Mandavisarpini,
as the lady lice was named. *

* Her timings were immaculate. Like a yakshi, he would know when the king
was in deep sleep, and then , and then alone, she would descend upon the
royal body and with her very soft straw would drink just a little blood..
delicious was the blood because the king ate very rich food.. which would
keep her hale and healthy for the day.. She was thus living comfortably .
*

*One day, as if sent by fate to put an end to her dream-life, a bedbug, with
whom she was already acquainted paid a visit to the royal bed. The lice was
terrified at the hungry looks and emaciated body of Agnimukha, the bug. She
knew that the fellow knew no propriety and his presence could cause
detriment to her also. But just like all glib adventurers, the bug was an
adept in wagging his tongue. When the lady lice expressed fear about his
presence, he gave a big lecture. *

*“ My dear young lady, do you not know the dharmas? I have come as a guest
to your abode. I am a thick friend of yours. I am of the considered
opinion that you should have invited me long ago to this place. Is it not
the duty of a good friend to share his fortune with his dear friends?. Anyway,
I have come to you. Now it is your turn to follow the duties of a sincere
host.” *

* The lady lice had little choice now. She knew the terrible bug will not
leave. He had had the taste of many species of nasty blood samples and of
late he was starving. He had come coveting the sweet blood of the king and he
would not leave without having his share of it. So, though reluctantly,
the lice allowed the bug to stay on. *

*“You please hide yourself in a remote crevice of the wooden bug and you
should come out only when the king is in deep sleep.. Then again you should
have your dinner in a way befitting a gentleman. You should not use your
forks and knives to create painful gashes.” *

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*The bug agreed heartily.*

*The night came, so also the occupant of the bed. The aroma of a human
body did a million things to the gastronomically acute instincts of the
bug.. He could not wait long enough to ensure that the king was asleep. He
came out, descended on the body of the king who was fully awake and pressed
his sharp and extended tooth of a straw on the soft body of the king and
started to drink blood. The king felt the painful prick and stirred up
creating a ruckus. The servants were called to search the bed. The bug
was fast on his feet and hid safely in a remote crevice of the wooden bed. No
search could betray him.*

* Meanwhile, not exactly knowing what all was happening Mandavisarpini,
the lice was hiding in the fold of a bedsheet and she was discovered by the
servants without much ado.. She was simply crushed between the fingernails
of a servant and her dream run of a life met an untimely end.*

*At the time of dying, she must have cursed herself for having cultivated
the friendship of such a garrulous idiot of a bug.*

*With a treacherous friend around, one need not have any weapon for
suicide.