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The Proud Elephant and the Wise Jackal

Once upon a time, there lived an elephant in the forests of Devganj.  The Elephant lived a lonely life in the jungle.  He was an arrogant and haughty animal. 

It was the strongest animal in the forest.  It terrorized any animal which was small and weak.  Even the tigers and leopards learned to keep a safe distance from the elephant. 

Sometimes, when the elephant was in an angry mood, he would run amok across the forest with his trunk held high, trumpeting and charging at anything he could come across. 

Many a time, small animals, particularly those which built their homes in the ground would get trampled. 

The animals of the forest spent their lives in perpetual fear and terror. They did not know what to do.

One day a jackal came to the forest.  He was in search of food.  He lived nearby.  He found the forest to be a pleasant place.   As he set up his home and made acquaintances with the animals, he came to know of the elephant and the fear he had instilled in the minds of the animals.

The jackal was a wise animal.  He was old in years and experienced in the ways of the forest.  He was sad that all the animals were subjugated by such a tyrant as the elephant

A few days later, news of a terrible tragedy spread through the forest.  A young partridge had laid her eggs on a nest in the ground.  A few weeks later, the eggs hatched into four beautiful fluffy chicks. The chicks were the pride and joy of the partridge.  The chicks had just grown big enough to come out of the nest. 

One day, the mother partridge had gone out in search of food.  When she returned, she was shocked to see that her chicks were dead.  They had apparently been crushed to death by the cruel elephant. 

The anger of the other animals knew no bounds.  But they were powerless in front of the mighty elephant.

The old jackal who was observing the grim situation had an idea to rid the forest of the elephant for ever.  He discussed his plan with a few of the animals in the forest. 

The next day, the wise jackal slowly approached the Elephant.  The elephant lived in a corner of the forest.  No animal dared come close to his residence.  Summoning courage, the jackal entered his place.

“Your Excellency!”, he began.  The elephant was pleased.  He loved to see other animals cower before him.  “All the animals of the forest have decided that the forest needs a king”, the jackal said.  The elephant grew interested.  The idea never occurred to him.  The jackal continued, “Seeing that you are the most powerful and mighty animal in the forest, the animals have decided to crown you as their king”.  The elephant was pleased.  Till now, he thought that the animals were frightened of him.  But now it appeared that they really loved him. 

He consented to attend the function and get himself crowned as king.  “It is only a formality. I am already king”, he thought to himself.  But the thought of him being hailed as king by all of the forest creatures made him very happy.

The jackal left the elephant after thanking him for his graciousness.  On the day of the coronation, the jackal arrived early in the morning.  The elephant was already waiting for him.  He had just returned from an early morning bath.  He wanted to look his best.

The jackal led him through the forest.  The walked for about an hour until they came to a river bank.  The elephant was apprehensive.  ”Just a few more minutes, Your Excellency”, the jackal reassured him.    There was quicksand a few metres away.  The jackal walked slowly sideways.  The elephant did not notice this.  He went forward and got caught in the quicksand.  Being heavy, the sand gave way and soon he was sinking.   He struggled to get out.  But the more he struggled, the more he got caught in the loose soil.

He cried out for help.  But no one could save him.  The other animals of the forest watched from a distance.  That was the end of the wicked elephant. The animals of the forest thanked the wise jackal for saving them.  They lived in peace for many years. 

Children, this story tells us that people who are arrogant and cruel will one day be brought down.  Therefore, we need to be humble and never proud of our strength or our intelligence.  He must always be kind and helpful to others.

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