351. The Young Lion And The Jackal

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born as a young Lion, and was the king of many lions lived in a Silver Cave. Near by was a Jackal, living in another cave.

One day, after a shower of rain, all the Lions were together at the entrance of their leader’s cave, roaring loudly and gamboling about.

As they were thus roaring and playing, the Jackal too lifted up his voice. “Here’s this Jackal, giving tongue along with us!” said the Lions; they felt ashamed, and were silent.

When they all fell silent, the Bodhisatta’s cub asked him this question. “Father, all these Lions that were roaring and playing about have fallen silent on hearing the sound of a creature. What creature is it that betrays itself thus by its voice?”

At his son’s words the old Lion said:

“The Jackal, of all beasts most vile, It is he that makes that sound.

The Lions loathe his baseness, while they sit in silence round.”

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