In a jungle there lived a pack of jackals. They would hunt together to eat from the left-overs of the lion’s meal. One of the jackals was getting a little old. All the younger jackals bullied him and did not allow him to share the food.
“I have to do something to satisfy my hunger. Like this, I will not survive for very long,” thought the jackal to himself.
He decided to leave his pack and go in search of food. He wandered around for many days but could not find any food. Everywhere he went, other animals chased him away.
Finally he decided to venture into the village in search of food. After nightfall, the jackal walked down the village streets in search of food. Suddenly a pack of dogs began to chase the jackal. Scared for his life, the jackal ran as fast as his weak legs could carry him. Finding no way of escape, the jackal jumped into the first open house he found.
Suddenly he found himself in a vat of foul smelling liquid. It was a vat of indigo dye. The house belonged to the village washer man. When the jackal climbed hurriedly out of the liquid and peered out fearfully, the dogs which were waiting for him outside, let out a howl and ran away with their tails tucked between their legs. The jackal was surprised. But finding the dogs gone, he carefully went back into the jungle.
The jackal went to the water hole in the jungle to quench his thirst. As the jackal went closer, all the other animals which had come there ran aw ay in panic. The jackal looked around in surprise to see what had frightened them. But he saw nothing wrong. He was very thirsty and so went to the water hole to quench his thirst. As he bent down to drink, he was shocked to see a strange looking creature in a brilliant and unearthly colour looking up at him from the water. The jackal was first frightened, but soon realised that he was looking at his own reflection. He remembered the foul smelling liquid into which he had fallen. “So that is why all those dogs and all these animals in the forest were afraid!” he reasoned to himself. His cunning mind thought of a plan quickly.
He called out to the frightened animals. “Do not be afraid of me. I have been sent down by Brahma to protect you.” The animals all believed him at once and made him king.
As the days went by, the jackal became prouder and lazier. He did not have to look for food any longer. His subjects would bring him food to cat and take care of every need of his. The jackal was very happy with his life.
One full moon night, the pack of jackals to whom the jackal had belonged before began to howl at the moon. The indigo jackal had not heard his brothers howl for a long time. The urge to howl was too strong for him to control. He threw back his head and began to howl to hisheart’scontent.
The other animals were astonished to hear their heaven sent king howl like a common jackal. And soon they realised their mistake.
“This is no extraordinary animal sent by Brahma. He howls like a jackal,” said the bear. “Yes. He is calling out to the other jackals.” “He has fooled us.” “He has to be punished,” said several other animals. “Come let’s teach him a lesson.” The animals joined together and gave the indigo jackal a severe beating.