Bedtime Audio Stories in English - The Little Jackal Who Ate Tigers

 The Little Jackal Who Ate Tigers

On the banks of the river Nile was a good old forest. Many kinds of animals lived there, but jackals formed the largest population of the forest. Once there was a great flood in the river. Thatches, trees, beds, household utensils, cats, and dogs were seen carried away by the current. A little jackal stood shivering on a floating wood. Luckily for him, the wood came ashore and the little jackal hopped onto the land. Some jackals of the forest surrounded him and asked him from where he came. "I hail from the forest Talvan. I was standing close to the river bank waiting for my breakfast when a chunk of earth fell into the river and I too fell along with it," said the little jackal, still shivering and almost in tears. News soon spread that a jackal from Talvan had arrived. More jackals came to see him.

They had heard of the great forest of Talvan, but had never met any creature from that famous land. "You must be hungry!" said a kind-hearted jackal. "Of course, I am!" The little jackal was in tears. The host jackals looked at one another. One of them fetched a cucumber. The little jackal ate it and felt better. "What will you have for dinner?" asked a more practical jackal. "A couple of tigers!" replied the little jackal. "Beg your pardon?" "A couple of tigers! One would do if I have more cucumbers or a pumpkin or a watermelon," informed the little jackal. An awful silence followed. Embarrassment was writ large on the faces of all the jackals present. The practical jackal coughed and said, "Hm. I understand! But do you eat the whole of a tiger or even the whole of two tigers?" "I used to eat the middle. My parents ate the head and the tail parts." "Hm. I understand!" said the practical jackal. He looked at the important ones in the gathering. "Relax. We'll see about it," he said. News had spread at great speed that the forest had received a jackal who had tigers for dinner. Hundreds of jackals collected to see the guest who sat on a mound, a few important jackals of the forest were talking to him pleasantly. Soon the important ones came together in a serious meeting. 

But they held their meeting in a manner so that all could see and hear them. "I remember having heard about the heroic jackals living in great forests who thrive on tigers and lions. Now that one of them has descended amidst us, it is our duty to entertain him to the kind of food he relishes best," said an elderly jackal famous for his knowledge of the wide world. "I think, the jackal has come to remind us of our glorious past when our forefathers fed on tigers and lions and rhinoceroses. What a sorry state to which we have been reduced!" lamented another jackal who was a kind of orator. The meeting of the important jackals, the practical one, the knowledgeable one, and the orator one, was still in progress when the sunset and all the jackals gave out their ceremonial howl. Suddenly the little jackal asked, "Where is my dinner?" Immediately some cucumbers and a fresh watermelon were produced before him. "Where is my tiger?" To that million-dollar question, there was no answer for a moment. But then one of the important jackals said, "The fact is, the tigers are so scared of us jackals that sometimes it is difficult to find any, you know..." "Let me try!" said the little jackal and he descended from the mound and advanced towards the river bank. Only the extraordinarily brave and wise ones followed him with faltering steps when, all of a sudden, the little jackal pounced on something and exclaimed, "I've got one!" "Got what?" those who were following asked him. "A tiger, of course!" said the little jackal. 

He had captured a tiny fish that had jumped onto the bank. "Our house is close to the damp lands on the river and we catch tigers regularly when the water recedes after tide!" he said happily. "You mean, you call these tiny shining things tigers?" one jackal sought clarification. "What else!" said the little jackal who now paid attention to eating the thing he had got. Laughter, begun by some most ordinary jackals swept through the forest. Only the practical jackal, the knowledgeable jackal, and the orator jackal did not participate in it. The little jackal who suddenly realized that his hosts had lost interest in him, found his way home walking along the river one full night. But, for several days the three important jackals were not seen in daylight. However, embarrassment is not nurtured by anybody forever. One day they came out to join the howling ceremony. The knowledgeable jackal was heard saying, "Well, often the different meaning of a word in different forests creates some confusion, we must admit!" The orator said, "The fact is, brothers and sisters, the little jackal from the distant forest brought us together!." The practical jackal too was going to say something when all the jackals began laughing and the ordinary ones said, "We know, we know. You fellows did one good thing. You made us laugh unitedly once the other day and again today!"

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