18. The Jackals and the Elephant
The jackals were stalking an especially large elephant, thinking that they could feast on him for days.
Finally the most cunning of the jackals went to the elephant and said, "O Great One, the animals met and elected you to be their king. I am to escort you to the coronation."
"I'm honored!" said the elephant happily.
The jackal then led the elephant into a swamp.
"Help!" shouted the elephant as he sank into the mud.
"Your courtiers are all coming to help you, Your Highness!" promised the jackal.
But the jackals did not help; instead, they devoured the elephant.
Inspired by: Hitopadesha, or, The Book of Good Counsel translated by B. Hale-Wortham
Notes: It is in Book 1, Story 9.