A jackal fell into a pot of dye which stained his coat with beautiful colors.
"Behold!" the jackal shouted. "I've become a heavenly peacock!"
When he showed off his new colors to the other jackals, they scoffed. "You're no peacock!" they said.
"But I am!" retorted the jackal. "I am truly a peacock."
"Can you make the call of the peacock?" the other jackals asked.
The jackal opened his mouth, but he could not make the call of the peacock. He sounded just like any other jackal.
His beautiful new colors were only on the surface, not in his heart.
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 67 in the book. This story comes from India; see The Blue Jackal. In that story, the jackal fools the other animals, but only at first.