The Cunning Jackal

Once upon a time, there was a cunning and clever jackal who was used to cheating the villagers for his meals, rather than hunting in the jungle. He stayed near the village and looked for any opportunity to snatch food for himself. His trick was that whenever he wanted to eat, he shouted, "Eagles are coming, eagles are coming." The villagers wanting to protect their chickens woud look up in the sky for any signs of eagle. Meanwhile, the jackal would creep into the yards, steal a chicken and sneak out easily. Days were passing easily for the jackal.

The villagers were wary of this happenning and were on teh lookout the next time for any foul play in the yards. The jackal, becoming careless after getting easy prey, was caught the next time he cried that eagles were coming and creeping into the yard to steal a chicken. The villagers were happy to finally catch the thief and, full of anger, decided to punish the jackal. They tied a rope around the jackal's legs and dragged him along a gravelled bumpy road. All the villagers were happy to see the jackal suffer. But at that moment, the jackal said, "Oh how lovely, my body was really itchy, and now the scratching is giving me so much relief. Thank you everyone."

The villagers could not believe this. The more they dragged the jackal, the happier he seemed. The villagers were easily fooled and now began dragging him along a grassy patch. The jackal laughed a little and cried out loud as if he was being tortured. He pleaded to the villagers to take him to the rough gravel road because the grass was hurting him. The villagers were finally happy to see the jackal being tortured.

Finally after dragging the jackal for a while, the villagers were tired but they were still angry at him for duping them for so long. They then suspended him from a tree, and wrote nearby for any passerby to kick him when they passed. After being kicked for a long time, he was very hungry and he gave up all hope and was ready to die. Luckily for him, a stupid bear passed by him at that moment. He was surprised to see the jackal swinging from the tree and asked him what he was doing. The jackal asked the bear to get lost from there and let him enjoy his swinging.

The curious bear asked if he could take a turn swinging from the tree. The jackal agreed and the bear untied him from the tree branch and hung himself up to swing. The jackal went away then. He was very hungry and barely conscious. It had begun to rain, and he was barely conscious. He came across a dead elephant on the way. But he was very tired to bite through the thick skin of the elephant. But the rain had drenched the carcass and made the posterior swollen. So the jackal went in through the swollen hole and feasted on the entrails. In his greediness, he ate until he couldn't move anymore. But the sun had already begun shining and the hole had contracted so he was stuck inside the carcass.

Just when the jackal began to scratch the elephant skin, the Lord Shiva walked by. He got curious as to what was making the scratching noise, and asked who it was. The jackal shouted back asking who was asking. After learning that it was Lord Shiva, the jackal himself claimed to be Lord Shiva. The jackal challenged Lord Shiva to make it rain if he was indeed a god. When he made it rain, the jackal jumped out of the now drenched and open hole and ran away.

Lord Shiva felt cheated by the jackal and decided to punish the him. So he made a goat out of gum and glue, and placed it in the open. The greedy jackal jumped to eat the goat, but he got stuck to the glue. The jackal got more angry and kicked the goat, but his limbs got stuck as well. The jackal was now completely stuck and could not even move, and realized that he was trapped.

Lord Shiva appeared in front of the jackal, and just as he was about kill the jackal, he cried for forgiveness. Lord Shiva compassion on the jackal and let it go. The jackal, from that day on, gave up its deceiving ways and lived a life of his own making.

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