A jackal lived in a forest. One day he felt very hungry. He looked for an animal to eat. But he could not find any.
In the forest the jackal found the skin of a lion. He put on the skin. Then he went to the tiger’s cave and called, “Is anyone at home?”
The tiger’s wife came out. She saw the jackal in a lion’s skin. She thought he was a lion. She was afraid. “Please, sir,” she said. “What do you want?’
The jackal said loudly, “Give me some meat or I shall kill you!”
The tiger’s wife ran inside. She brought lots of meat. The jackal ate and ate till he could eat no more. Then he went away.
Every day the jackal went to the tiger’s cave. The tiger’s wife was afraid of him. She gave him lots of meat. The jackal ate and ate. He ate so much that he soon grew fat.
One day the jackal said to the tiger’s wife, “Today I shall take your children to the river for a bath. Tell them to get ready.”
The tiger’s wife told the cubs, “Children, your uncle is taking you to the river for a bath. Get ready quickly and go with him.”
The tiger cubs were very happy and went with the jackal. They came to the river. The jackal said, “You all can have a swim in the river. I shall stand here and watch you.”
The tiger cubs jumped into the river. They swam in the water and had lots of fun. Then they came out and said, “Uncle Lion, now it is your turn to have a bath.”
The jackal was afraid to go into the water. But he did not want the tiger cubs to find out. So he said, “Very well, children. I shall have a bath now. I shall take off my clothes. So, children, close your eyes tight. Don’t look.”
All the tiger cubs closed their eyes. The jackal took off the lion skin. Then he went to the river. But he was afraid to go in. So he stood near the water and said loudly, Chhup-chhup, chhup-chhup, chhup-chhup.’
The tiger cubs thought he was swimming in the river. They could flat see, for their eyes were closed. But the youngest cub was very naughty. He opened one eye and looked. And what did he see? A jackal standing near the river shouting `Chhup-chhup, chhup-chhup, chhup-chhup.
The youngest cub said to his elder brothers, “He is not a lion at all ! He is only a jackal !”
“Shhh!” his brothers whispered. “Don’t say that. He is a lion. If he hears you, he will kill all of us !”
“But I tell you he is a jackal !” the youngest cub said again. “Just look.”‘
All the cubs opened one eye and looked. They saw that the animal was only a jackal. So they at once jumped on the jackal and ate him up.
The cubs went back and told their mother, “Mother, Uncle was not a lion. He was a jackal, and we have killed him.”
“Shhh!” said their mother. “Don’t say that, children. He is a lion. If he hears you, he will be very angry.”
“Oh mother, but he was not a lion,” the cubs said again. “He was a jackal. He was wearing a lion’s skin. We have killed and eaten him.”
Their mother was very happy. “Thank you, my children,” she said . “Now he will not cheat us any more.”