Once, when a jackal ventured into a village in search of food, he accidentally fell into one of the many drums that were lined up in a washer man’s courtyard.
He managed to get out of the drum and found two of the washer man’s dogs eyeing him. He expected them to pounce on him, but instead, they ran away howling.
The jackal went back to the forest and found, to his surprise, all the animals bolting the minute they spotted him.
The jackal was puzzled. ‘Whatever is the matter? Why is everyone scared of me suddenly?’ he thought as went to the river to drink water. When he saw his reflection, he got the answer. The jackal had turned red! He had fallen into a drum of red dye in the washer man’s courtyard!
The jackal quickly decided to take advantage of the situation. He softly called the animals, ‘Do not be afraid. I have been sent by the creator of the forest to be your king. I will protect you and rule the forest.’
He soon convinced the animals and they all lined up to pay their respects to their king. They brought food for him every day. The jackal began to enjoy this easy life very much indeed.
One day, a pack of jackals were crossing the forest. As soon as they reached the river, their first destination, they raised their heads and howled as is their practice. The jackal immediately responded with his own howling following natural instinct.
The animals who were sitting around their ‘king’ were first startled and then disgusted. They had a common jackal amidst their midst, they realized, and not a royal king. They all walked away in disdain and the foolish jackal was left to fend for himself. His ‘royal’ days were certainly over despite his red colour!
To reflect upon
True nature never remains hidden for long.