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The Lion The Jackal And The Man






Source: South-african Folk-tales

It so happened one day that Lion and Jackal came together to converse on
affairs of land and state. Jackal, let me say, was the most important
adviser to the king of the forest, and after they had spoken about these
matters for quite a while, the conversation took a more personal turn.

Lion began to boast and talk big about his strength. Jackal had,
perhaps, given him cause for it, because by nature he was a flatterer.
But now that Lion began to assume so many airs, said he, "See here,
Lion, I will show you an animal that is still more powerful than you
are."

They walked along, Jackal leading the way, and met first a little boy.

"Is this the strong man?" asked Lion.

"No," answered Jackal, "he must still become a man, O king."

After a while they found an old man walking with bowed head and
supporting his bent figure with a stick.

"Is this the wonderful strong man?" asked Lion.

"Not yet, O king," was Jackal's answer, "he has been a man."

Continuing their walk a short distance farther, they came across a young
hunter, in the prime of youth, and accompanied by some of his dogs.

"There you have him now, O king," said Jackal. "Pit your strength
against his, and if you win, then truly you are the strength of the
earth."

Then Jackal made tracks to one side toward a little rocky kopje from
which he would be able to see the meeting.

Growling, growling, Lion strode forward to meet the man, but when he
came close the dogs beset him. He, however, paid but little attention to
the dogs, pushed and separated them on all sides with a few sweeps of
his front paws. They howled aloud, beating a hasty retreat toward the
man.

Thereupon the man fired a charge of shot, hitting him behind the
shoulder, but even to this Lion paid but little attention. Thereupon the
hunter pulled out his steel knife, and gave him a few good jabs. Lion
retreated, followed by the flying bullets of the hunter.

"Well, are you strongest now?" was Jackal's first question when Lion
arrived at his side.

"No, Jackal," answered Lion, "let that fellow there keep the name and
welcome. Such as he I have never before seen. In the first place he had
about ten of his bodyguard storm me. I really did not bother myself much
about them, but when I attempted to turn him to chaff, he spat and blew
fire at me, mostly into my face, that burned just a little but not very
badly. And when I again endeavored to pull him to the ground he jerked
out from his body one of his ribs with which he gave me some very ugly
wounds, so bad that I had to make chips fly, and as a parting he sent
some warm bullets after me. No, Jackal, give him the name."





Next: The World's Reward

Previous: A Jackal And A Wolf



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