3. The Leopard, The Ram and The Jackal

Leopard was returning home from hunting, when he passed the home of Ram. Now, Leopard had never seen Ram before, and so, he said, “Good day, friend! What may your name be?”

The other in his gruff voice, and striking his chest with his forefoot, said, “I am Ram. Who are you?”

“Leopard,” answered the other, fearfully, and then leaving Ram, he ran home as fast as he could.

Jackal lived at the same place as Leopard did, and the latter going to him, said, “Friend Jackal, I am quite out of breath, and am half dead with fright, for I have just seen a terrible looking fellow, with a large and thick head, and on my asking him what his name was, he answered, ‘I am Ram.'”

“What a foolish fellow you are,” cried Jackal, “to let such a nice piece of flesh go! Why did you do so? But we shall go tomorrow and eat it together.”

The next day the two set off for the home of Ram, and as they appeared over a hill, Ram, who had come out to see where he should eat that day, saw them, and he immediately went to his wife and said, “I fear this is our last day, for Jackal and Leopard are both coming against us. What shall we do?”

“Don’t be afraid,” said the wife, “but take the child in your arms, go out with it, and pinch it to make it cry as if it were hungry.” Ram did so as Leopard and Jackal approached.

No sooner did Leopard cast his eyes on Ram than fear again took possession of him, and he wished to turn back. Jackal had prepared for this, and had tied Leopard fast to himself with a leathern thong, and said, “Come on,” when Ram cried in a loud voice, and pinching his child at the same time, “You have done well, Friend Jackal, to have brought us Leopard to eat, for you hear how my child is crying for food.”

On hearing these dreadful words Leopard, despite the pleading of Jackal to let him go, to let him loose, set off in the greatest alarm, dragged Jackal after him over hill and valley, through bushes and over rocks, and never stopped to look behind him till he brought himself and half-dead Jackal back to his place again. And so Ram escaped.