Once there lived a huge jackal named Mahachaturaka in a jungle. He wondered into the jungle to get his food and in this way he lived his life.
One day as he wandered in the jungle in search of prey, he saw a dead elephant. As he saw him he became very happy because this dead elephant will provide food to him for many days. As he reached near to him and tried to tear the elephant, he was unable to tear the thick skin of the elephant. His all happiness soon turned into sadness. He tried a lot to tear him but all his efforts went into vain, and he frustrated very much.
Within few moments while he was trying his luck to tear the elephant, a lion approached there. When the jackal saw him he bowed immediately and said to the lion, “O my highness, I found this dead elephant here and then I keeping watching over it so that you can eat it. Please accept my offer and eat this as you want.”
As the lion heard this he refused to the jackal and said, “Dear, I eat only that prey when I hunt it myself. That is my nature, thank you for the offer, but I cannot eat it. Please you can have it for yourself.”
By saying so the lion went away from there. But the problem of the jackal remained same, he wondered how he can tear this elephant’s thick skin alone. It’s impossible for him to do so. At the same time when he was thinking a leopard approaching there. When he saw the leopard he thought, “I got rid of the lion by being humble, but now I have to be cunning in order to get rid from this leopard.
Thus the jackal immediately climbed on the top of the elephant and raised his shoulders humbly and said to him, “O uncle, you have come here to eat this elephant but it’s not possible because this elephant was hunted by the lion. He asked me to guard it till he returned and called him if anybody approached it.”
As the leopard heard this, he also noticed the lion’s foot print nearby and believed him. He began to shiver in fear. He said to him, “O my Nephew, please forgive me and don’t tell the lion that I come here. I must leave this place and look for food at other places.” By saying so the leopard ran away, after assuring the jackal not to tell the lion that he came here.
But the problem remained same as was. The jackal became very disappointed how he alone teared apart this elephant’s thick skin.
After some time a tiger approached there. When the jackal saw him he thought, “I fool the leopard by saying all rubbish, but the tiger is not a fool. In addition to it he has sharp teeth. If I convince him some way to tear the elephant’s thick skin, I can finally eat it.”
The jackal began to shout at the tiger, “O Tiger, It is a long time since I have seen you. Be my friend. You look very thin and hungry. Be my guest and eat this elephant while I keep a watch for the lion. The lion killed the elephant and ask me to look after it till he returned. I can eat it and don’t worry I will keep watch.”
As the tiger heard this he convinced by the jackal and he became very happy to found such food. He immediately jumped on the elephant and tore apart him by his sharp teeth. Just as he started eating the elephant, the jackal began to shouted, “Dear, here comes the lion, run away or hide himself. He about to reach.”
As tiger heard he feared and ran away as fast as he can.
Thus the jackal finally ready to eat the elephant. The tiger had provided him the opened elephant that he needed to eat it. Just as he was about to eat the elephant another jackal arrived there. He fought bravely with the other jackal and chased him away.
Thus he was finally able to eat the elephant.
The wise indeed say:
Bow before the mighty, throw something before the low and fight the equally powerful.