The Jackal and The Lion - Panchatantra Stories

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There lived a jackal, somewhere in a jungle by the name of Mahachaturak. 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 do so. Meanwhile, a lion, who was wandering about here and there, 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, so, ‘I shall make you a present of this dead elephant.’

‘It’s very proper on. the master’s part,’ said the jackal, ‘to treat his servants so.’

After the lion had left, a leopard arrived on. the scene. When the jackal saw him, 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, 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.’

With this, 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.

The leopard heard this, he was frightened and he said, ‘Nephew! Please save my life! Don’t tell the lion that I’ve been here.’ And with these words, he bolted.

“When the leopard had left, a tiger arrived on the scene. When the jackal saw him, he started thinking, ‘He has very strong sharp teeth. I will make him tear open the elephant’s hide’.”

“With this in mind, he said to the tiger, ‘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’.”

If that’s the case, said the tiger, ‘I don’t want anything to do with it, for the lion may kill me, ‘I am leaving!’

You coward! said the jackal. ‘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.’ 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! 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, Mahachaturak.

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, crocodile,” continued the monkey, “don’t give your enemy time to entrench himself. You, too, fight off this enemy of your own species. Your own kith and king torment you to death.”

How was that? asked the crocodile. The monkey told this story. THE STORY OF THE DOG

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