The Jackal who saved the Lion
Here is another interesting story from the collection of Jataka Tales. Once upon a time, there lived a lion in a forest. One day, when he went to drink water in a river, one of his feet got stuck into the damp mushy mud of the river. He tried a lot to get out of the mud, but to no avail. He had to lie without food for days because he didn’t find any help. On one fortunate day, a kind jackal came to drink water from the river. When he saw the lion, he went closer to the lion and said, “What is the matter? Why are you resting here?”
The lion narrated him the pathetic story. The Jackal instantly made a way out from the sand but the lion was unable to move his feet. As he was set in the same posture for last several days, his body became stiff. The jackal understood the condition of the lion and helped him to get out of the mud with an extra effort. The Lion was really thankful to jackal for his kind help. He was very happy to get free after so many days.
The Lion appreciated the effort made by the jackal. He offered the jackal to live close to him and also promised to give food to him whenever he caught food. The jackal accepted the offer and started living with the lion. Thus, they lived happily sharing the food. With the passing time, they expanded their families. The lion had cubs and the jackal had kid jackals. Both, the lion and the jackal were passing their days happily. They didn’t have any idea that their friendship was not liked by their families.
One day after a long time, the lioness, lady of the lion's house, asked her cubs that she didn’t like the amity between the jackal and her husband. The cubs conveyed the message to the kid jackals. The kids complained the matter to the lady jackal. The lady jackal conveyed the complaint to her husband.
The jackal went to the Lion and asked,” I helped you without any consideration in return. You had asked me to live with you, so I started living with you. Now, if you don’t want me to live with you, you should have told me yourself. What did you involve your wife and cubs to convey this? “. The Lion was shocked to hear such words. He said, “My dear friend, what are you saying? I don’t find any problem with you or your friendship”. He assured the jackal that he had no such ill-feelings for the friendship between them.
The Lion also assured that he would talk to the lioness and solve the whole matter. The jackal was intelligent and understood the situation. He said to the lion, “Dear friend, I know you are sincere, but our families could not exactly respond the same level of friendship. So, let us stay apart and meet often as friends. We could also hunt together. It would be better, if our families stay apart”. The Lion agreed to the proposal with a heavy heart.
The two families parted from each other as friends. The Jackal and the Lion continued to share the friendship. They often met each other and hunt together. Thus, the two friends shared a healthy friendship throughout their life.
Moral : Don’t expect the same intensity of love and friendship from others as you have for others.