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The Jackal Punished

Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

Once a hen and a jackal were great friends, and they decided to
have a feast and each brewed beer for the occasion; the hen brewed
with rice, and maize and millet and the jackal brewed with lizards,
locusts, frogs and fish. And when the brew was ready, they first
went to the jackal's house, but the hen could not touch his beer,
it smelt so bad and the jackal drank it all; then they went to the
hen's house and her beer was very nice and they both drank till the
hen got very drunk and began to stagger about; and the jackal made
up his mind that the hen must be very nice to eat, as her beer was
so good to drink and when he saw her drunk he was delighted and sang:

"Fowl, do not graze in the field!
The jackal laughs to see you.
Paddy bird, do not fish in the pond!
You pecked a piece of sedge thinking it was a frog's leg!
Do not drink rice beer, O fowl!
The jackal laughs to see you.

And so saying he gobbled her up; and her chickens cried at the
sight. Then the jackal resolved to eat the chickens also, so he came
back the next day, and asked them where they slept and they said
"In the hearth." But when the jackal had gone, the chickens planned
how they should save their lives.

Their mother had laid an egg and as there was no one to hatch it now,
they said, "Egg, you must lie in the fireplace and blind the jackal;"
and they said to the paddy husker, "You must stand by the door and
when the jackal runs out you must knock him down;" and they told the
paddy mortar to wait on the roof over the door and fall and crush
the jackal. So they put the egg among the hot ashes in the fireplace
and they themselves sat in a cupboard with axes ready; and when the
jackal came he went to the fireplace and scratched out the ashes;
and the egg burst and spirted into his eyes and blinded him and as
he ran out of the door the paddy husker knocked him over; and as he
crawled away the paddy mortar fell on him from the roof and crushed
him; then the chickens ran out and chopped him to pieces with their
axes and revenged the death of their mother.

Next: The Tigers And The Cat

Previous: The Jackal And The Chickens

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