Short Stories » The Jackal and the Foolish Tiger
The Jackal and the Foolish Tiger
One night, the jackal, decided to leave the forest and visit the neighboring village. There he happened to meet a bitch and fell in love with her. Soon, the bitch became pregnant. Her delivery date was fast approaching, and the jackal grew increasingly nervous. So, they left to the forest which he felt, was safer. He warned the human beings in the village could take away the pups.
The bitch thought this was good advice, and they decided to leave for the forest. The couple reached the forest and the jackal went searching for a safe place. He found an abandoned den of a tiger, and felt the cave was a perfect shelter for the pups.
The jackal told the bitch, “This cave is the best place to stay and that nobody would disturb us here”.
But his wife said, “This is the tiger’s cave and he will kill us if he finds out.”
The jackal assured her and told her that he will attend to the tiger.
They began organizing and the jackal brought some hay, so they could sleep comfortably. Suddenly, they heard a tiger’s roar. The jackal looked outside, and noticed a tiger at the cave’s entrance. The bitch became scared, and began to weep.
The jackal consoled her, and said in a loud voice, “Don’t worry my dear, I know that you are hungry and tired. The tiger will soon come in to his den, and we can then kill it and, satisfy your hunger.” He intentionally spoke loudly, so the tiger could overhear their conversation.
No sooner the foolish tiger heard the jackal’s plans, he ran away. He thought there were two wild animals in his den, waiting to kill and eat him. The fleeing tiger, came across another jackal, who was aware of the first jackal’s state of affairs. He also knew the first jackal had brought his wife from town, and taken over the tiger’s cave.
The second jackal was jealous of the first jackal, and his wife, and started laughing at the foolish tiger. The scheming second jackal, told the tiger of the first jackal’s plans.
He advised the tiger, “Don’t be afraid; just follow me.”
The foolish tiger thought for a while and decided to follow the second jackal. The second jackal, reassured the tiger, and praised his size and strength. He asked the tiger to go to his den and see for himself.
By this time, the tiger had regained his confidence and was seething in anger.
He remarked “How can they stay in my den without permission? I am going to kick them out and kill them.”
Hearing this, the second jackal became happy.
Soon, they reached the tiger’s den. The first jackal, noticing the tiger had returned to the den with his foe, the second jackal.
The first jackal was shrewder than both the tiger and second jackal.
He spoke in a loud voice, “Don’t worry my dear, one of my comrades have brought back the tiger. My comrades are hiding in the forest. They will surely catch him this time. He has fallen into our trap, and his flesh would last us some time. This would give you the energy for your delivery.”
On hearing the conversation, the foolish tiger, who had returned only because of the second jackal’s persuasion, turned and ran. His retreat was so hasty, that he fell down a couple of times and injured himself. He also cursed himself for trusting the second jackal.
The second jackal had followed the tiger and he too was a bit stressed.
While the tiger was resting, the second jackal cautiously approached him and said, “I am sorry that you had to run”. He is a rogue and I never thought, you were such a coward. You, the mightiest animal in the jungle is afraid of one silly jackal!”.
The tiger said, “I am fed up and I won’t go there again. You jackals are all one group. Your aim is to destroy all the tigers, so you can move freely in the jungle”.
The jackal meekly replied, “I am your humble servant, and I don’t like the way, one of my comrades behaved with you. I know he and his wife need a place, but not at the cost of your den. You know that a jackal is no match for a tiger. You can kill him with one stroke. This should be an example for others. Be bold, and come with me. You can also tie my tail with yours, so if you need to flee, I will hold you back.”
The foolish tiger agreed and approached the den again.
The bitch hearing their footsteps began to howl with fear. Her husband peeped out and noticed the tiger and the second jackal approaching. He consoled his wife, and spoke in a loud voice; “I know you are hungry and that is why you are howling. Please wait for a moment. My faithful brother is bringing back the foolish tiger. He has also tied his tail with his, so the tiger cannot escape. Soon, you can have the entire tiger.”
On hearing this, the tiger lost his confidence and bolted. He believed the second jackal was out to trick him.
So he ran and turned for his life. The tiger ran so fast and was injured in many places. Finally, a rock fell on his head and he died. The jackal also died because he too was tied to the tiger’s tail.
A wise and clever person can do through wisdom, which a physically strong person may not be able to do through his physical strength.