13. The Jackal and the Crow

A crow perched high in a tree, eating some delicious fruit.
A jackal decided to flatter the crow, hoping she would drop the fruit so that he could catch it.
“Fair lady, you look like a peacock up there!” he said to the crow. "Your feathers are dazzling. I've never seen anyone as beautiful and as graceful as you!"
The crow then flattered the jackal in return. “Kind sir, you look like a handsome young tiger!” she said, and as she spoke, all the fruit fell out of her mouth.
The jackal then grabbed the fruit and ran away, laughing.

Inspired by: The Jataka, translated by W.H.D. Rouse.
Notes: This is the Jambu-Khadaka Jataka. You can find a collection of different versions of this tale here: The Fox and the Crow. You can read more about jambu fruit, also known as water-apples, at Wikipedia.

Here is an illustration from a Kalila-wa-Dimna manuscript:

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