Panchatantra

Jackal and Dead Elephant

Jackals are supposed to be very clever; that is what the various folktales make us to believe. This story is about one such brilliant jackal. Once upon a time; a jackal was roaming around in search of food. After a very long and arduous search; the jackal finally found a dead elephant. But there was a problem. We know that an elephant has a very thick hide. The jackal was not able to pierce the thick hide of the elephant. The site of the food deepened his hunger pangs even further. He was thinking of some way so that he could enjoy a hearty meal.

The lion comes

Suddenly, a lion appeared on the scene. A brilliant idea struck the jackal’s mind. He bowed his head in front of the lion and said, “O mighty king of the jungle! I was just waiting for you. I have killed this elephant just for you. You are welcome to enjoy the feast.”

But the lion was the real king. He did not like to eat a prey which was killed by others. The lion simply refused jackal’s offer and went away from there.


dead elephant

After that, a tiger came on the scene. The jackal knew that the tiger shall not be as regal as the lion. He said to the tiger, “The lion has killed this elephant. He has asked me to guard his prey so that he can take a shower in the meantime. It will be better if you run away from here before the lion comes.” Hearing the name of the lion, the tiger ran away for its life.

The feast for jackal

After that, a leopard came on the scene. The jackal knew that leopards have sharp claws and teeth and they can easily tear away the hide of an elephant. The jackal said to the leopard, “This elephant was killed by a lion. He has gone for a bath and has asked me to guard his prey. You can enjoy some meat in the meantime. I will alert you as soon as the lion would seem to be coming.”

The leopard was too happy to resist that offer. He immediately jumped on the carcass and dug its teeth and claws in it. When the leopard had just tore away some of the skin of the elephant, the jackal began shouting, “The lion is coming! The lion is coming!” This scared the leopard and he ran away to save his life. That is how; the jackal was able to enjoy a hearty meal by using its sharp brain.

The moral of the story is that if you know how to use the available tools, you can find success.