Karaikkal Ammaiyar

(The following little story synopsis thing was done by Elaine Craddock, in this here PDF: http://www.southwestern.edu/academics/bwp/pdf/2005bwp-craddock.pdf)

I love the storytelling aspect of spiritual texts. Here is a story about a 6th century Poet/Saint/Shaivan-Devotee.
 
"Karaikkal Ammaiyar was born in the sixth century into a well-to-do trading family in the coastal town of Karaikkal and originally named Punitavati. In the well-known story about her, she was a beautiful girl who was married to the rich merchant Paramatattan, to whom she was a faithful wife, although this role proved to be at odds with her ardent devotion to Shiva. 

One day Paramatattan’s customer gave him two mangoes which he told his wife to serve him later for his midday meal. But before he returned home for lunch, a Shaiva holy man came to the door for alms, so Punitavati gave him one of the mangoes and some rice. When her husband came home she gave him his meal along with the remaining mango. He thought the mango was delicious and asked for the other one. Punitavati went to the kitchen to pray to Shiva for help; another mango appeared, which she served to her husband. This one was so much more delicious than the first, her husband was suspicious and asked his wife where she’d gotten it. She reluctantly told him, but he doubted her story and asked her to repeat the miracle in his presence. Again Punitavati prayed to Shiva, and another mango appeared; her husband was terrified of her power and fled without releasing her from her wifely duties. 

He set up another household in another city, while Punitavati continued to keep up his house asnd her appearance in anticipation of his return. Eventually her parents found out where he was and took their daughter to him. He and his second wife and daughter, named Punitavati, fell at her feet in worship, calling her a goddess. 

When Punitavati learned that her husband didn’t want her as a wife anymore, she begged Shiva to take away the beauty she no longer needed and give her a demon form. He granted her wish; she then made a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, walking on her hands so as not to defile god’s heavenly abode with her feet. Shiva was so moved by her devotion he called her “Ammai” or mother, and allowed her to join his troupe of ghouls, his ganas, and to perpetually witness his dance at Tiruvalankatu, where she lived as his adoring slave."