Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
|7-Jackal and Others|
7-Story of the Jackal, the Lion, the Leopard, and the Tiger
Then the Monkey started the story of "The Jackal, the lion, the leopard and the tiger to the Crocodile :-
"In a certain part of the jungle, there lived a jackal, by the name of Mahaa Chaturak. One day, he came across a dead elephant. He went round and round him, trying to tear the elephant's thick skin but he could not. Meanwhile, a lion, who was wandering around, arrived on the scene. When the jackal saw the lion approaching, he bowed himself low on the ground, joined his paws in obeisance and said very humbly, "Your Majesty, I am keeping watch over this elephant for you. Now that you have come, please be good enough to eat him."
"When the lion saw the jackal behaving so humbly, he said, "Thank you very much, but I never eat a prey that has been killed by someone else. As they say: "A man born of a noble family, although beset with calamities, never forsakes the path of righteousness: So too the lion, royal by birth, even when faint with hunger, never touches grass or animals killed by others." "And so," continued the lion, "I shall make you a present of this dead elephant." The Jackal said - "It's very proper on the master's part to treat his servants so."
After the lion had left, a leopard arrived on the scene. When the jackal saw him coming, he thought to himself, I got rid of the wicked lion by bowing humbly before him, but how shall I manage this one? He is extremely brave, so I cannot handle him except by cunning way, for they say: "When it is not possible to win someone over by peaceful methods, or by bribery, then cunning is the only solution, for even a man endowed with all the good qualities, can be won over by cunning."
So the jackal raised his shoulders proudly and said condescendingly to the leopard - "Uncle, Why have you ventured into the jaws of death? The lion killed this elephant, appointed me to watch over him and is now gone to wash himself in the river. When he left, he said to me, "If any leopard turns up, come to me quietly and inform me, I shall then see that this jungle is wiped out of all leopards. For once, one of them polluted my prey of an animal and I have been very angry with them ever since."
When the leopard heard this, he was very frightened, he said, "O Dear Nephew, Please save my life. Don't tell the lion that I've ever been here." And with these words, he left the place.
When the leopard had left the place, a tiger arrived on the scene. When the jackal saw him, he started thinking, "Oh this is good that this tiger has come here. He has very strong sharp teeth. I will make him tear open the elephant's hide." So with this in his mind, he said to the tiger, "O Dear Nephew, How is it that I see you after such a long time? And you look starved. Be my guest. This elephant has been killed by a lion and he ordered me to keep watch over him. But until he returns, eat as much as you can and then leave quickly."
Tiger said - "If that is the case, I don't want anything to do with it, for the lion may kill me too. They say: "As long as you manage to stay alive, there are hundreds of good things to enjoy, and, you should only eat what you can digest, and what, once digested, does you good. That is why I am leaving."
The Jackal shouted at him - "You are a coward. Just eat and don't worry about it. I'll tell you when the lion is coming back, while he is still quite a long way off."
So the tiger was taken in by the Jackal's cunning talk. But hardly had he cut through the elephant's hide and taken a few mouthfuls, when the jackal shouted, "Stop, Stop. You had better run, Nephew. The lion is coming." As soon as the tiger heard this, he took to his heels.
"The jackal had just started feeding on the flesh, through the opening made by the tiger, when another jackal arrived on the scene, looking very angry. Guessing that his own strength matched this newcomer's, Mahaa-chaturak. Recited to himself the following verse: "Bow before the great, pit two brave opponents against each other, give small presents to the mean, and fight with the equally powerful." Following this verse, he fought the other jackal, bit him with his sharp teeth and chased him away. And he enjoyed the elephant's flesh all to himself for a long, long time.
"And so, O Crocodile," continued the Monkey, "don't give your enemy time to entrench himself. You, too, fight off this enemy of your own species, for they say: "You can expect prosperity from cows, penance from Braahman, fickle-mindedness from women, and antagonism from your own kith and kin."
And another thing, as the dog said: "In foreign countries, the women are careless and leave all the doors open, one gets wonderful varieties of food to eat, but there is one disadvantage. Your own kith and kin torment you to death."
"How was that?" asked the Crocodile.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 05/06/13