Having shrunk to the size of a mouse, Hanuman ran through Lanka, looking for Sita. He found her held captive in an ashok grove near Ravana's palace. She was guarded by hideous demonesses and harassed by Ravana, who wanted her to forget Rama, and marry him instead. She was sitting under a tree crying. Meanwhile Hanuman climbed the tree, dropped Rama's ring into her lap, and told her Rama will come and save her.
But demons caught Hanuman, squeezing him tight, and carrying him to Ravana. Ravana and the Demons decided to set fire to Hanuman's tail. They wrapped his tail in strips of cotton and soaked the cotton in oil. As the Demons began to to prepare Hanuman's tail, Hanuman cast a magic spell, making his tail grow longer and longer and longer (the subject of many paintings). The demons soon ran out of cotton and oil. They set light to his tail anyway. But Hanuman shrank back to the size of a mouse, and so his tail shrinks too. In this way he managed to escape, setting Ravana's throne alight in the process, and leaving a trail of flames throughout Lanka. Once free Hanuman dipped his tail into the sea, and leapt back to Rama, Lakshman, and the bears.