20. Jackal’s Bride

Jackal married Hyena, and carried off a cow belonging to the ants, to slaughter for the wedding; and when he had slaughtered it, he put the cow skin over his bride; and when he had fixed a pole (on which to hang the flesh), he placed on the top of the pole (which was forked) the pot for the cooking, in order to cook upon it all sorts of delicious food. Lion came, and wished to go up. Jackal, therefore, asked his little daughter for a rope with which he could pull Lion up; and he began to pull him up; and when his face came near to the cooking-pot, he cut the rope in two, so that Lion tumbled down. Then Jackal scolded his little daughter with these words: “Why do you give me such an old rope?” And he added, “Give me a new rope.” She gave him a new rope, and he pulled Lion up again, and when his face came near the pot, which stood on the fire, he said, “Open your mouth.” Then he put into his mouth a hot stone which had been boiled together with the fat, and the stone went down, burning his throat. Thus Lion died.

Ants also came running after the cow, and when Jackal saw them he fled. Then they beat the bride in her cow skin. Hyena, believing that it was Jackal, said, “You rogue! Have you not played at beating me long enough? Have you no more loving game than this?”

But when she had bitten a hole through the cow skin, she saw that they were other people; then she fled, falling here and there, yet made her escape.