A jackal lived under a tree. He had no house. His wife and children also lived under the tree.
In winter it was very cold. The jackal’s wife told him, “You must make a house for us. The children feel very cold. If you don’t make a house, the children will die of the cold.”
“How can I make a house ?” the jackal said. “I do not know how to make one.”
“Then go and look for a house,” his wife said.
The jackal went into the forest.
He saw a bear’s cave. He hid in some bushes near the cave.
After some time the bear came out of the cave. He went to the forest to look for food. The jackal thought, “The cave is empty. We can live in it now.”
The jackal called his wife and children. “Look,” he said, “what a nice cave this is ! It is a bear’s caves but we shall live here now. This will be our house.”
His wife said, “but the bear will eat us up. What shall we do ?”
The jackal said„ “The bear will not eat us. Now listen. I shall stand before the cave. When you hear the bear growling, bite the children hard.”
“All right,” said his wife. “I shall do that.”
The jackal went and stood outside the cave. After some time the bear came back. He saw the jackal. He was very angry. He growled loudly.
The jackal’s wife heard the bear growl. She bit the children hard.
They began to cry.
The jackal asked his wife, “Why are the children crying ?”
“They are hungry,” his wife said.
“What can I do ?” replied the jackal. “I have no bear meat to give them. Oh, there’s a bear here. When he comes inside, you can kill him. Then the children can have lots of bear meat to eat.”
“Oh good,” said his wife. “Just let the bear come in and I shall kill him.”
The bear heard all this. He was very frightened. He thought there was some very fierce animal inside the cave. So the bear ran away and never came back.
The jackal and his wife had a good laugh. They were very happy. They now had a nice cave to live in. Their children did not feel cold any more.