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Lion And Jackal A

Source: South-african Folk-tales

The Lion and the Jackal agreed to hunt on shares, for the purpose of
laying in a stock of meat for the winter months for their families.

As the Lion was by far the more expert hunter of the two, the Jackal
suggested that he (himself) should be employed in transporting the game
to their dens, and that Mrs. Jackal and the little Jackals should
prepare and dry the meat, adding that they would take care that Mrs.
Lion and her family should not want.

This was agreed to by the Lion, and the hunt commenced.

After a very successful hunt, which lasted for some time, the Lion
returned to see his family, and also to enjoy, as he thought, a
plentiful supply of his spoil; when, to his utter surprise, he found
Mrs. Lion and all the young Lions on the point of death from sheer
hunger, and in a mangy state. The Jackal, it appeared, had only given
them a few entrails of the game, and in such limited quantities as
barely to keep them alive; always telling them that they (i. e., the
Lion and himself) had been most unsuccessful in their hunting; while his
own family was reveling in abundance, and each member of it was sleek
and fat.

This was too much for the Lion to bear. He immediately started off in a
terrible fury, vowing certain death to the Jackal and all his family,
wherever he should meet them. The Jackal was more or less prepared for a
storm, and had taken the precaution to remove all his belongings to the
top of a krantz (i. e., a cliff), accessible only by a most difficult
and circuitous path, which he alone knew.

When the Lion saw him on the krantz, the Jackal immediately greeted him
by calling out, "Good morning, Uncle Lion."

"How dare you call me uncle, you impudent scoundrel," roared out the
Lion, in a voice of thunder, "after the way in which you have behaved to
my family?"

"Oh, Uncle! How shall I explain matters? That beast of a wife of mine!"
Whack, whack was heard, as he beat with a stick on dry hide, which was a
mere pretence for Mrs. Jackal's back; while that lady was preinstructed
to scream whenever he operated on the hide, which she did with a
vengeance, joined by the little Jackals, who set up a most doleful
chorus. "That wretch!" said the Jackal. "It is all her doing. I shall
kill her straight off," and away he again belabored the hide, while his
wife and children uttered such a dismal howl that the Lion begged of him
to leave off flogging his wife. After cooling down a little, he invited
Uncle Lion to come up and have something to eat. The Lion, after several
ineffectual attempts to scale the precipice, had to give it up.

The Jackal, always ready for emergencies, suggested that a reim should
be lowered to haul up his uncle. This was agreed to, and when the Lion
was drawn about halfway up by the whole family of Jackals, the reim was
cleverly cut, and down went the Lion with a tremendous crash which hurt
him very much. Upon this, the Jackal again performed upon the hide with
tremendous force, for their daring to give him such a rotten reim, and
Mrs. Jackal and the little ones responded with some fearful screams and
yells. He then called loudly out to his wife for a strong buffalo reim
which would support any weight. This again was lowered and fastened to
the Lion, when all hands pulled away at their uncle; and, just when he
had reached so far that he could look over the precipice into the pots
to see all the fat meat cooking, and all the biltongs hanging out to
dry, the reim was again cut, and the poor Lion fell with such force that
he was fairly stunned for some time. After the Lion had recovered his
senses, the Jackal, in a most sympathizing tone, suggested that he was
afraid that it was of no use to attempt to haul him up onto the
precipice, and recommended, instead, that a nice fat piece of eland's
breast be roasted and dropped into the Lion's mouth. The Lion, half
famished with hunger, and much bruised, readily accepted the offer, and
sat eagerly awaiting the fat morsel. In the mean time, the Jackal had a
round stone made red-hot, and wrapped a quantity of inside fat, or suet,
round it, to make it appear like a ball of fat. When the Lion saw it
held out, he opened his capacious mouth to the utmost extent, and the
wily Jackal cleverly dropped the hot ball right into it, which ran
through the poor old beast, killing him on the spot.

It need hardly be told that there was great rejoicing on the precipice
that night.

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