The Innocent Deer, the faithful Crow and the Wily Jackal

Chintu was a deer who lived in a forest.    He had few friends.  One of those friends was a crow.  The crow and Chintu were very close friends.  The crow would hop on to Chintu’s back and the two would spend hours talking together.  They would talk about their lives, their interests and ideas and the general affairs in the forest.  Chintu was a deer who trusted people easily.  He would become friends very soon with anyone.  The crow too was a gentle bird with a kind heart.  The two made great companions. 

There also lived a jackal in the forest.  The jackal was a mean and cunning animal.  A smooth talker, he was ready to do anything for a few morsels of food.  The jackal met the deer while he was grazing.  He soon struck a conversation.  Chintu was an innocent animal.  He soon fell for the jackal’s talk. 

The crow observed this friendship with dismay.  He knew that the jackal was a crafty creature who had made friends with many other animals in the forest before.  All those animals had disappeared mysteriously.  The jackal was, in fact, an accomplice to a hunter who lived in a village on the edge of the forest.  He would befriend unsuspecting animals in the forest and then lure them to a place where the hunter lay in wait.  The hunter would kill the poor animals and throw a few pieces of leftover meat to the jackal for food.

The crow had warned Chintu about the shady jackal.  But Chintu was too naïve.   He dismissed the crow’s warnings.  A few days later, Chintu and the jackal were talking together.  The jackal told Chintu that there was a place in the forest that he would never have seen before, a place with lots of sweet grass and a cool stream to relax nearby. Chintu was curious to see the new place.  However, he was also wary.

Sensing his discomfort, the jackal reassured him. “It is only a short distance from here”, he said, “We can return by evening”. Chintu did not know of the jackal’s evil plan.  The evening before, the jackal had told the hunter to wait at that place.  Soon, they reached the place.  The place was indeed beautiful.  Chintu was admiring the beauty of the place when he heard a noise behind him.  Before he could realize what was happening, a net flew over and fell on him.  Alas, he was trapped.  The hunter who was hiding behind a tree stepped forth.  The jackal gave him a wicked grin. 

Chintu was struck by fright.  He knew that he would be killed soon.  “It is all over.” he told himself.    Just then, the hunter left the place to fetch his club with which he would kill the deer.  He had left it a short distance away at a tent in which he stayed.

The jackal too went along with him.  The hunter gave some tidbits to the jackal as reward.  In the meanwhile, the crow, the faithful friend of Chintu had happened to fly across the area in search of food.  He saw the commotion in the ground and flew down to investigate.  He was shocked by what he saw. 

The situation was indeed serious.  In a few moments his friend would be dead.    He had to act fast.  The crow hit upon a plan.    He flew beside the deer and whispered something in his ear.  Chintu was happy to see his good friend.  He listened carefully to the crow.    In a moment, the deer dropped down as if dead.  The crew sat on him and pretended to peck at his skin as if he were pecking a dead animal. 

When the hunter returned, he was upset to see that his deer was “dead” and a crow pecking at its flesh.  He would not eat anything that was already dead.  He only wanted what he himself had freshly killed. 

He moved forward and lifted his net which he had cast over the deer.   In an instant, the deer sprang to life and ran away as fast as his legs would carry him.  The crew flew away too.  The hunter saw this and his anger knew no bounds.  He knew that he had been cheated.  Enraged, he threw the club he was carrying at the deer.  The club missed the deer and hit the cunning jackal who was standing by, killing him on the spot. That was the end of the wily jackal.   The deer escaped from danger thanks to the quick thinking of the crow.

Children, this story tells us not to trust people blindly.  There are many people who talk sweet and take advantage of our friendship.  This story also tells us to think quickly and to apply our mind when we are in danger.  A clever idea can easily turn even a difficult situation around.