Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Tiger and the Jackal

#Mythicaltales  The Tiger and the Jackal -  Many many years ago, there was a king named Pourik . He was a cruel and tyrant ruler and his subjects remained unhappy with him. As a retribution, he was reborn as a jackal after his death.

But he remembered everything about his past life and that made him grieve always for his wrongdoings as a tyrant. He always rued the fact that as a king, he was not worthy of good deeds that could be his salvation.

As a penance the Jackal gave up on eating flesh and started living on fruits and vegetables. He also started being truthful always in his action and speech and soon he become a very pious being.

The jackal lived in his lair near a cemetery. The other jackals who lived there were very surprised with him and they would always taunt him “Brother, you eat vegetables and fruits . That's idiotic to say , the least . With abundance of flesh here, why do you have to be a vegetarian?" , they would say.

The Jackal did not get vexed at their taunts. He replied them without rancour- “Friends, do I have to keep off the right path only because I am born a Jackal? If I can live by eating fruits and vegetables, then why do I have to eat flesh? "

A tiger was passing that way. He overheard this conversation and was pleased with the jackal. He thought- “Ah, this jackal seems to be a pious soul and a wise animal. Let me make him my Chief Minister. "

He called the Jackal” I am sure you are a very noble soul. Be my Chief Minister, O Jackal. "

The Jackal replied” O King, I am honoured by your offer. But I have a few conditions, which, you should agree before I accept the offer. You have to abide by whatever I decide for you. When I advise you, nobody else should be present there. And you can't punish me even if you are cross with me."

The Tiger said “I agree to your conditions. Now you come with me."

This way the jackal now became the Chief Minister of the tiger's kingdom. Within a very few days, the Tiger realised what a good choice of minister he has made. He too placed the Jackal at a high esteem and valued his advice with a lot of respect. The Jackal too enjoyed his new role and put in his full efforts to serve the king in a selfless manner.

But the coterie of the old courtiers who used to surround the Tiger became very insecure due to the Jackal. They were used to the good life of corruption and cheated the king. These rascals found that with the coming of the Jackal as the Chief minister, the various sources of their income was drying up . So they all joined hands and sought a way to get the Jackal banished from the court.

Everyday, the best cuts of meat were earmarked for the Tiger. Nobody else was allowed to eat those pieces. One day the mischievous servants of the Tiger stole them from the Tiger's cave and spread them near the Jackal's lair. Neither the Tiger nor the Jackal had any inkling of this because they were asleep. In due time the Tiger woke up and felt hungry; but there was no meat for him in the cave.

The Tiger roared in anger. He wanted to know who was responsible for this . His rage knew no bounds. The wicked courtiers were waiting for this chance to poison his mind. They said - “My Lord, it is the Chief Minister who has done this. You may think him to be a pious animal. But he is actually a very greedy and crafty fellow." Then they took the Tiger near the Jackal's lair where they had hid the pieces of flesh. The Tiger was out of his senses. He asked the servants to kill the Jackal.

The servants would have killed the Tiger, had it not been for the king's mother who was a very intelligent tigress. She understood the plan of the wicked courtiers and approached the Tiger saying- “My son, you know these people and how they were ruining you before the Chief Minister Jackal came here. Just recall, how many times you have wanted to gift him with valuables, but he has never had any use for them. Why should he steal your share of flesh? You inquire about this in detail. I sense some foul play. “

The tiger came to his senses, hearing the soothing words of advice from his mother. He realised his mistake and remembered the conditions he accepted before the Jackal took up his employment. Now he made a thorough enquiry and learned about the conspiracy by his servants. He punished them.

The Jackal was now held in very high esteem by his employer the king Tiger. But the intelligent Jackal could well understand that working for such a temperamental master was always risky. So he bid his time and after a few days very politely excused himself and left the service of the Tiger, wishing him all the best of luck.

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