Digital Dimdima

ANIMAL TALES

Half-Educated

A jackal met a wolf and the two got to talking.
"How far have you studied?" asked the wolf, suddenly.
"To tell you the truth, I'm only half-educated," said the jackal.
"Then I'm twice as educated as you," said the wolf. "From now on you should address me as 'Sir'."
Just then a ferocious tiger stepped out from behind a bush.
"What shall we do...Sir?" asked the jackal.
But the wolf was so frightened he couldn't talk.
"Going somewhere?" growled the tiger, positioning himself to leap.
"We were in fact coming to consult you, Sir," said the jackal, thinking quickly. "A dispute has arisen between us and only you with your superior intelligence could settle it for us."
The tiger was pleased.
"What's this dispute about?" he asked, relaxing.
"I have caught two plump chickens," said the jackal. "My friend says that as he is more educated than me he should get one. Now is that fair?"
"How far have you studied?" asked the tiger, looking the wolf up and down.
The wolf's teeth chattered in fright.
"He says he has as many qualifications as there are teeth in his mouth," interpreted the jackal.
"Is that so!" said the tiger. "Then I'm far better educated... see!" And he opened his mouth to show his fearsome teeth.
The sight so unnerved the wolf that his legs gave way and he fell flat on his face.
"He admits you're more educated and is prostrating at your teeth," explained the jackal. "I should prostrate too for the wisdom you've shown in settling our dispute."
"I have?" said the tiger, perplexed.
"Now that you've claimed the chickens for yourself, my friend and I no longer have a dispute," said the jackal. "Please follow me to my house and I'll give you the chickens."
The tiger was delighted. He rarely got to eat chicken. Also, his superior intelligence told him that once he had eaten the chickens there was nothing to prevent him from eating the jackal and the wolf too.
"Lead the way," he said.
The jackal led him to the mouth of a tunnel in the side of a hill.
"Here we are," he said. "My friend will go in and bring the chickens."
The opening was much too small for the wolf but he was so eager to gain the safety of the tunnel that he somehow squeezed himself through it.
When he did not come out for some time, the jackal said he would see what was keeping him and deftly slipped into the tunnel, too.
It took some time for the tiger to realise that he had been tricked. Then he was so furious that he forgot he was educated and putting his face close to the opening roundly cursed the jackal and flung the choicest abuse at him.
After he had gone, the wolf, helped by the jackal, squeezed out of the tunnel.
He had got his voice back.
"You may be uneducated," he said admiringly, "but you've certainly got brains."
"Thank you," said the jackal. "Sir!"



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