Story of Jackal's Strategy
Mahachataraka was a jackal living in a
forest. One day, he found the body of an elephant and was happy that it
would have food for many days. However, he was not able to bite into the
thick hide of the elephant and was circling around the body when a lion came
that way. The jackal humbly prostrated before the lion and said, “My lord, I
am your obedient servant. At your command, I am keeping a vigil on the body
of the elephant. Please help yourself.”
The lion said, “You know my friend, I do
not eat something others have killed. You may take it as my gift to you.”
“I am touched by your magnanimity, my
lord,” said the jackal.
After the lion had left, a tiger came on
the scene. The jackal thought, “I got rid of one menace through humility.
How do I escape this fellow? He will not yield to any strategy I know. The
only way of keeping him at bay is cunning. Let me try it.”
The jackal then went half way to greet
the tiger and said, “O uncle, why are you entering this area of death? The
lion has killed this elephant and asked me to keep watch on it. He has gone
to take bath. Before going, he told me to inform him if any tiger happened
to come here. He vowed to kill all the tigers because long time ago a tiger
had nibbled at an elephant he had killed. He told me that from that day he
had sworn to kill all tigers.”
These words frightened the tiger.
He told the jackal, “Son, save my life.
When the lion comes, don’t tell him I had come this way. Please.”
On receiving an assurance from the
jackal, the tiger hurriedly left the scene. Then came a leopard.
The Jackal thought, “This fellow has
strong and sharp teeth. I will persuade him to pierce the hide of the
Addressing the leopard, the jackal said,
“My son, you have come this way after a long time. You seem to be hungry.
Why don’t you be my guest? See this body of the elephant killed by the lion.
He has asked me to keep an eye on the body. So, have a feast before he
The leopard said, “Uncle, how can I
accept your invitation. If I want to live long I should not touch this
elephant. I will leave now.”
The jackal assured him, “Don’t worry, you
go ahead. I will alert you when the lion comes.”
The leopard then began attacking the
elephant and when he tore the hide, the jackal cried, “Run. The lion is
In this way, the jackal managed to get
rid of the leopard also.
When the jackal began feasting on the
elephant flesh, another jackal came that way. He was very angry and looked
very strong. The first jackal remembered the last line of the stanza “crush
equals with power” and attacked the trespasser with great ferocity and
the Story :
Conquer a good man with humility,
Vanquish a hero with strategy,
Overcome the poor through small gifts
And crush equals with power.