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The Bull and the Jackal

In a certain town lived a young & virile bull. Full of energy, he abandoned the herd and went wild in the forest.

In that forest lived a jackal with his wife. They used to catch mice on the riverbank as they would come to drink water. One day, while waiting for the mice, they saw the bull come down to the same stretch of river for a drink. The she-jackal saw the bull’s hanging testicles and said to her husband, “Do you see those two lumps of flesh hanging from that bull. They will fall in a moment, or a few hours at most. I want to eat those. So please follow him and bring them to me.”

“My dear,” said the jackal, “nobody knows about these lumps. Perhaps they will fall someday, perhaps not. Why send me on a fool’s errand? I would rather stay here with you and eat the mice that we come across. They follow this trail. And if I were to go after these lumps of flesh, somebody else would come here and we would lose our prime spot. A bird in hand is better than two in the bush.”

“Come on,” said she, “don’t be a coward, satisfied with these little mice. We always ought to be energetic, a man especially. Luck favors the brave, so unless we take action to follow this being, how would we get to eat these the tasty flesh? And as for your saying: ‘Perhaps they will fall, perhaps not,’ that, too, is wrong. Remember that God helps those who help themselves. Besides, I am dreadfully tired of mouse-flesh, and these two lumps of meat are plainly on the point of falling. You must not refuse me.”

So when he had listened to this, the jackal left his spot on the riverbank and followed the bull. Well, there is wisdom in the saying that a man is his master only till the point when his woman goads him against his will. Wife’s talk can make a man do many things that he would not have done otherwise.

The jackal spent many years wandering with his wife after the bull. But his testicles did not fall. At last in the fifteenth year, the jackal was able to convince his wife that they will not fall in the future either. So in utter gloom, they finally gave up the chase and returned to the old mouse-trail.

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