The Blue Jackal
The Panchatantra is a fabulous collection of short stories originated from India in 3rd century BCE. It is written in sanskrit by Pandit Vishnu Sharma. The purpose behind the composition was to embed moral values in children.
The term ‘Panchatantra’ is a combination of two sanskrit words, ‘Pancha’ means five and ‘Tantra’ means practice/principle. The characters of the stories are animals and birds.
To quote Edgerton (1924)
…there are recorded over two hundred different versions known to exist in more than fifty languages, and three-quarters of these languages are extra-Indian.
It is “certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India”, and these stories are among the most widely known in the world.
A hungry Jackal by name Chandru went to a village in search of food. A group of dogs in the village started chasing the Jackal as they did not like Jackals entering the village. In an attempt to save his life he ran into a washerman’s house and fell into a bucket of indigo (blue) dye and the entire coat of hair turned blue.
Slowly the Jackal climbed out of the bucket and saw no dogs there, proceeded to the jungle. All the animals were surprised to see Chandru the Jackal’s appearance and became terrified and ran off in all directions.
Jackal decided to take advantage of the situation, continued into the woods to meet the King of the Jungle Lion. On seeing the Jackal Lion asked him who he was? Jackal proclaimed that he was sent by God to protect all the animals in the jungle.
Lion believed the Jackal and ordered all the other animals to obey him and take care of his necessities. In this manner Jackal was leading a peaceful life. One fine day rain started pouring and without knowing what is going to happen Jackal started dancing in the rain, and slowly the blue dye had run off Jackal Chandru’s coat and he was just a normal Jackal again.
Before the Jackal could come to know about this, other animals realised this and chased him far into the woods, where he was never seen again.
Moral: “Cheats never prosper”
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