A newly married woman from a village went to a Swami (an ascetic) to ask for a thavis (magic armband/charm). She complained to him about the ill-treatment she was getting from her mother-in-law. She insisted the all-knowing saint presented her with his famous charm. After thinking for while, the swami asked the woman to bring him a lion’s hair the next day. He promised he would insert the ‘magical’ hair in a charm so that she could wear it on her wrist and ward off her taunting mother-in-law.
Next morning, after her husband left for work, the woman went to a nearby forest to find a lion. Luckily she could spot one from a distance. It was an old lion living by himself. The woman started throwing morsels of meat she brought with her from home at that apparently listless lion to win its confidence. In the process, she got tired and also ran out of her meat supply by the evening. The lion moved at last and beckoned her. When the woman obliged the old lion thanked her for the whole week’s supply of food in such wintry days. Next, the beast asked the woman what favor he could do in return. Without any hesitation the woman asked for the lion’s permission to pull a strand of hair from his whiskers. The lion gracefully agreed. After getting what she wanted, the woman thanked him profusely. Before saying goodbye, she reminded the lion he was still the king of the forest in her children’s schoolbooks. The woman also added a promise that she would hopefully see the lion along with her mother-in-law next time.
Before sunset, the woman hurried to Swami’s Ashram with her prized possession of a lion’s hair. Swami was astonished at the woman coming back with the difficult thing he asked for. He said to her quietly, "Look, young lady, when you are bold enough to meet a lion in his own den and make him agree with you, why can’t you do the same with your mother-in-law in your own family?” The young woman realized her mistake and thanked the swami for his eye-opening lesson.