18. Jackal and Monkey
Every evening Jackal went to the farmer’s barn. He crept through the sliding door and stole a fat young lamb. This, clever Jackal did several times in succession. The farmer set a trap for him at the door. Jackal went again and zip—there he was caught around the body by the noose. He swung high in the air and couldn’t touch ground. The day began to dawn and Jackal became uneasy.
On a rocky hill, Monkey sat. When it became light he could see the whole affair, and descended hastily for the purpose of mocking Jackal. He went and sat on the wall. “Ha, ha, good morning. So there you are hanging now, eventually caught.”
“What? I caught? I am simply swinging for my pleasure; it is enjoyable.”
“You liar. You are caught in the trap.”
“If you just realized how nice it was to swing and sway like this, you wouldn’t hesitate. Come, try it a little. You feel so healthy and strong for the day, and you never tire afterwards.”
“No, I won’t. You are caught.”
After a while Jackal convinced Monkey. He sprang from the wall, and freeing Jackal, adjusted the noose around his own body. Jackal quickly let go and began to laugh, as Monkey was now swinging high in the air.
“Ha, ha, ha,” he laughed. “Now Monkey is in the trap.”
“Jackal, free me,” he screamed.
“There, the farmer is coming,” shouted Jackal.
“Jackal, free me of this.”
“No, the farmer is coming with his gun; you rest a while in the noose.”
“Jackal, quickly make me free.”
“No, here’s the farmer already, and he’s got his gun. Good morning.” And with these parting words he ran away as fast as he could. The farmer came and saw Monkey in the trap.
“So, Monkey, now you are caught. You are the fellow who has been stealing my lambs, hey?”
“No, farmer, no,” screamed Monkey, “not I, but Jackal.”
“No, I know you; you aren’t so good.”
“No, farmer, no, not I, but Jackal,” Monkey stammered.
“Oh, I know you. Just wait a little,” and the farmer, raising his gun, aimed and shot poor Monkey dead.