12. Lion, Jackal, and Camel



The lion was starving, as were his attendants: a jackal and a camel.
The jackal proclaimed, "I dreamed that Yama, God of Death, will grant rebirth to the devoted courtier who offers his body as food."
Without hesitation, the camel declared, "I accept Yama's promise of rebirth!"
So the lion and the jackal killed the camel.
Then, in the distance, they heard the jingling bells of a camel caravan.
"It's Yama and his Death-Caravan coming to avenge the camel!" shouted the jackal. "Run away, O King, run away!"
The lion ran, and the jackal had the whole camel to himself.

Inspired byThe Panchatantra, translated by Arthur Ryder.
Notes: It is in Book 1, Story 24. The story also features a rival courtier, a wolf, so the jackal has to get rid of the wolf also: to do so, he sends the lion away to bathe while he and the wolf guard the camel; the jackal then urges the wolf to start eating, which enrages the lion so that the lion drives the wolf away.

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