The Jackal, Donkey and the Lion

Once upon a time, there lived a Lion in a forest.  It was a very strong and powerful animal.  It was well built and had a beautiful dark mane.   All the animals in the forest where afraid of the lion.  It was strong who could run very fast.  The lion could chase prey and hunt them down.  So it got its food easily. 

There also lived a jackal in the forest.     The jackal was a small and puny animal.  It usually hunted small animals such as rabbits, rats.  If it could not hunt any animal, it would starve.  The jackal was lazy and was fed up with its way of living.  Sometimes, it would get the leftovers, from the kills made by the lion.  It liked such easy meals and good meat.    One day, the wily jackal was thinking about its life when it hit upon a plan.  He went to the Lion and said, “Master, Please keep me as your servant.  I  will help you in hunting and I will be at your service always.  I will guard your food. 

Besides,  I will bring you news about  the other animals in the forest which will help you in your hunt.  I only ask that I be allowed to eat the leftovers from your hunt “.  The Lion thought for a while.  He too was in need of a servant.  A servant would clean his den and help in other day-to-day jobs.   Besides, the jackal was not asking for much.  The leftovers of his meals were eaten by the vultures and other scavengers, anyway. 

The next day the jackal joined duty as the lion’s servant.  The arrangement went on very well.  For many months, the jackal got good meat to eat from the lion’s many hunts.  One day, the lion attacked an elephant.   The furious elephant caught hold of the lion with its trunk and tossed him to the ground.  The frightened and badly injured lion ran for its life.  For many days, it lay in the den groaning in pain.  His injuries meant that he could not hunt the fast moving prey as he had done before.  He was now helpless and hungry.  He could not get anything to eat.  The jackal being the servant of the lion too had to go hungry too.

The Lion understood that their situation was serious.  It could not go like this for long.  It had to do something fast.    One day it called the jack, his servant.  “I am no longer able to hunt animals as before”, he said in a sombre voice, “Go find me animals which are easy to catch. Bring them to me that I may kill them close to my den. We will then be able to eat and live”.  The Jackal listened to the lion sorrowfully.  It felt bad seeing such a majestic animal being reduced to this state.  It wanted to help the lion. 

The jackal went in search of animals that could not run fast.    It saw an old donkey.  The donkey was eating some dry grass.  Jackal was very happy that he had found the right prey for his master.  He went to the donkey and said, “Hello Sir, there is lush green grass growing in a patch in the forest. I can take you to it if you are interested.”  The Donkey was apprehensive at first.  But greed got the better of him and he agreed. 

He followed the jackal and went with him into the forest.  The jackal went to the lion and told him about the donkey and asked him to come and attack the donkey.  The lion came near the donkey and when it saw the donkey it was excited about getting food after a long time and gave a big roar.  Hearing the noise, the donkey was terrified.  He took a look at the lion and took to his heels.
The Jackal was disappointed with the lion.  The lion apologized to the jackal and said that he would be careful. 

The jackal went to the same and met the donkey again.  The donkey said that he had taken him to a most dangerous place and he had escaped a great risk.  The jackal laughed and said,” Dear friend, you have totally misunderstood everything.    It was not a lion but a fat she-donkey who was starved for love and who had jumped on you.  The donkey had a long mane which made you think that it was a lion. 

She sent me again to bring you there.  She is greatly attracted to you and wants to spend the rest of her life with you”.   The donkey thought for a while.  He did not see the attacker clearly.  The attacker no doubt had a long mane.  It could indeed have been a she-donkey, the donkey concluded. 
With many romantic ideas, the donkey went with the jackal.  This time, the lion was prepared.  The donkey reached the place where the lion was hiding. The lion pounced on the donkey and killed him.  He feasted on him for many days.  The jackal too was rewarded with the leftovers.  Such was the sad end of the foolish donkey.

Children, this story tells us about the need to be cautious when somebody offers us something that is free or too easy.  A stranger who offers free sweets or tell us to go to some place can plan to kidnap us or to harm us otherwise.   In such situations, it is best to think and to tell your parents.  They will decide whether it is safe or not.