Clever goat and jackal
Once, some goats lived in a cave near a thick forest. Everyday, they grazed in a green pasture that lay near their cave. It had green luscious grass. The goats had plenty of grass through out the year. They fed on the luscious grass and grew fat.
One day, a jackal and his wife came near that pasture. They had not been able to find for the last two days. They saw the goats grazing in the pasture. Seeing them, they were very happy. The jackal rushed forward to kill one of the goats.
However, his wife stopped him. She said, “Do not be eager to kill the goats. If they come to know of our presence, they will run away. Wait till one of them comes this way or legs behind the others. Then it will be easy to kill them one by one. We can kill one goat everyday. We shall have plenty of food for many days”.
The jackal said that it was a brilliant idea. They hid themselves behind a bush and kept a watch over the goats. After sometime, one of the goats came near to the bush. Immediately, the jackal attacked it and killed it. The poor goat could not even bleat and warm off other goats. The jackal and his wife had a lovely feast.
From then onwards, the jackal and his wife came to the pasture and killed one goat everyday. Life for them became very comfortable. Slowly, the number of goats decreased.
In the end, only one she-goat remained. The she goat was very clever and had come to know that all her friends had been killed by the jackal. Therefore, she became very cautious and never ventured out of her cave. She stopped going to the green pasture. Instead, she fed herself on the green grass that grew around her cave.
Meanwhile, the jackal and his wife thought that there were no more goats left. They decided to move away from there find food somewhere else. As they were going, they happened to see the she-goat grazing on the green grass around her cave. She also saw the jackals and ran into the cave. She did not come out of the cave for a number of days. She ate the little patches of grass that grew inside her cave.
The jackals waited outside her cave for a number of days. Yet, they could not lay their hands on her. At last, they made a plan. The jackal’s wife went to the goat’s cave and sat at its opening. Then she said aloud, “Dear friend, I have come to make you my friend. I am very lonely and have no friends to share my secrets. I have always admired you for your cleverness. Please be my friend. We can share all our joys and sorrows”.
The she-goat was too clever to listen to the jackal’s wife. She said, “You are not worthy of becoming my friend. You and your husband have killed all my companions. Go away from here and never bother me again”.
The jackal’s wife said, “I know you hate me. It is because of my cruel husband. I have started hating him. I want to share my joys and sorrow with you. I know you are also lonely”.
The she goat saw no harm in befriending her. However, she remained cautious and never went too close to her. She talked with her from inside the cave.
One morning, the jackal’s wife came to the goat’s cave and started crying, “Dear friend, my husband is no more. He passed away last night. Nobody is there with me to perform his last rites. I know he was evil. But he was my husband. I must perform his rites. Please come out of your cave and help me perform his last rites”.
At first, the goat did not believe her. However, when jackal’s wife kept on crying, she agreed to go with her and help her perform the last rites of her husband. But she remained very cautious.
She followed the jackal’s wife to her cave. She saw the jackal lying on the ground. Actually, he was not dead. He was only pretending to be dead. It was part of their plan to trap the she-goat.
The she-goat, however, was too clever for them. As she reached the dead jackal, she saw him moving the eyelid. At once, she knew that she was being trapped. She said to the jackal’s wife, “You go and drag your husband’s body to the graveyard. In the meantime, I will go and dig the ground to burry him”. So saying, she ran away and entered her cave.
The jackal and his wife were outwitted by her.
The jackal’s wife scolded her husband for not looking very still. “I have made another plan to bring her here. This time, you should act wisely”. Then she explained her plan to him and went to the she-goat’s cave. She called out to the she-goat and said, “Friend, you must be thinking that I tried to trap you. This is not the truth. My husband had really died.
But, a miracle occurred, and he came back to life. We feel that the miracle occurred just because of you reached our cave. My husband is now repenting all his evil deeds. He wants to mend his ways. He has promised that from now onwards, he will not kill any living being. We will feed only on green grass and plants. He wishes that you have lunch with us today. Therefore, he has sent me here to invite you. Please do not refuse. Do come for the lunch”.
The she goat said from inside her cave, “if this is the case, I shall come for the lunch. But I have some guests visiting me. They have come from the city and are staying with me for some days. I would like to bring them with me to your house. Will you be able to manage a lunch for all of us?”
The jackal’s wife thought that there must be other goats with her. She asked her, “Who are your guests and how many of them are there?” the she-goat replied, “They are my cousins, the dogs. There are around hundred of them.
When the jackal’s wife heard that there were one hundred dogs in the goat’s cave, she got frightened and ran away. She informed her husband about the dogs.
The jackal and his wife were frightened of the dogs. So, they decided to leave that part of the jungle. They ran away from there and never came back again. The she-goat continued to live in her cave. Soon, she gave birth to kids and had a family again.