The Jackal Punished





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.





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