‘I will make Sita my wife,’ he boasted,’ even if I have to steal her!’ He sent his wicked demons, disguised as golden deer, to lure prince Rama away from home for a day’s hunting in the forest. As soon as Rama was gone Ravana leapt forward and with a terrifying R-o-a-r-r-r!’ swept Sita up with his many arms. His evil plan was to fly back to Lanka and keep Sita a prisoner until she would agree to marry him. But Sita managed to take off her jewels and throw them down on the ground.
‘I hope, I really hope, someone finds them,’ Sita thought,’ and takes them to my husband Rama.’ Luckily, down below on the ground, the jewels landed just by Hanuman and Sugreeva.
‘The gods must be sending us gifts!’ said Hanuman.
‘I wonder who these belong to?’ asked Sugreeva.
The two set off into the forest to solve the mystery. Meanwhile, prince Rama had returned and was calling for his wife Sita. ‘Where has she gone?’ he thought, as he searched the forest for her. Hanuman and Sugreeva found him wandering alone calling Sita’s name.
‘Who is Sita?’ asked Hanuman.
‘Sita is my wife, the princess,’ said Rama. ‘She has disappeared’. ‘I see,’ said Hanuman. ‘Perhaps these jewels belong to her then.’ ‘Why, they are Sita’s,’ replied Rama. ‘Where is she and who are you?’
‘I am Hanuman and this is my king Sugreeva. We will help you find her.’
‘Thank you,’ replied Rama. ‘Please do your very best.’
HANUMAN SEARCHES FOR SITA
Hanuman flew south. He learned that Sita had been taken to the city of Lanka by the demon king Ravana. Hanuman grew tall and mighty and with one giant leap began to fly through the clouds to the walled city on the island. As he flew over the ocean a terrible sea monster saw his shadow.
‘Grrrrr!’ she said. ‘I’m very hungry and I’d like to eat you.’ She opened her mouth and swallowed him whole. ‘Oh, Oh,’ thought Hanuman, as he slid down her slippery throat. Hanuman landed with big THUMP! He was sitting on something soft. He looked down… he was sitting on a bed! Hanuman was floating inside the stomach of the sea monster! He peered through the darkness and saw bits of masts, bits of sail and ships and all sorts of things the sea monster had swallowed.
‘I must get out of here,’ thought Hanuman, looking around him. Then he had an idea. Hanuman made himself very small and flew around the monster’s stomach tickling her sides. She began to squirm and thrash about.
‘Hoo, Hoo, ha ha! Stop that at once,’ she giggled. ‘I am very ticklish and if I laugh too much I’ll sneeze!’
But Hanuman wouldn’t stop. The sea monster could take it no longer. ‘I think I’m going to…’ She opened her enormous mouth wide. All at once Hanuman shot out of her mouth.
Ahh, Ahh…Choooo!’ sneezed the sea monster.
She shut her great jaws suddenly as she remembered that Hanuman was supposed to be inside her. But he was already speeding away to the walled city of Lanka. When Hanuman arrived at Lanka he saw all sorts of demon guards everywhere. Some were fat, some were thin. Some were beet root red, some were banana yellow and some were even cucumber green. All were ugly and smelly. They grunted as they walked around.
‘Oh dear,’ thought Hanuman, as he sat on the city wall. He was still very small, so he managed to slip past the guards through the darkness without being noticed. Inside the white marble city he searched for Sita in all the rooms of Ravana’s grand palace. Hanuman searched in the dinning hall. He searched in the kitchens. He looked down all the corridors. But he couldn’t find Sita. Then he heard a great rumbling noise, like thunder, coming from a bedroom with a huge golden door. He quietly crawled under the gap in the door and found Ravana. He was fast asleep on a huge bed with all his ten heads snoring loudly.
‘Well,’ thought Hanuman, ‘ Sita certainly isn’t here!’