March 24, 2008

Khmer Folk Tale: 4-The Jackal and The Elephant

In a great forest, there was once a big elephant whose name was Tilaka. There was also a large herd of jackals in the same forest, which went from place to place in search of food.
Once they saw the big elephant and discussed with one another, "What a big elephant is this! We have to kill him by a trick, if we can do this! Then we shall have food enough for four months."
Of all jackals, an old one was very clever. He asserted, "By my cleverness, I shall find out a special means with which to kill the elephant,"
After saying this, that sly old jackal started and walked up to the elephant, then prostrating to him with eight limbs, he said, "My lord, please do me a favour; I come to meet your lordship."
"Who are you? Where do you come from? And where do you go?" asked the elephant with a loud voice.
"My lord, I'm a jackal," he replied, " as the animals of this forest are without a king, they live without law and order: they have none to protect them and have no happiness; henceall of them agreed to send me for inviting you to be our king for you have all kinds of high quality for being our ruler"
Then the jackle added, "Now, my lord, it is anauspicious moment for you to be crowned; so, please have no hesitation and come quickly after me"
On hearing this, Tilaka was tempted. He liked very much to be a king. Wishing eagerly to be a king, he followed the jackal and walk as fast as he could. Suddenly, he got stuck in great mud so badly that he could neither go forward nor come back. From that position, he asked the jackal for help and said, "O friend jackal, help me. I'm now sinking in great mud!"
But the jackal being very much please to see that his trick is about to be successfully! said mockeringly with smile, "O lord, please hold up the tip of my tail with your trunk. This is your result in trusting my word!"
Then, no sooner had the big elephant sunk in great mud than the herd of jackals came out of the forest nearby and tore his skin and made him their food.

Because of this, it is said,
"Something that should be done by tricks must not be done through strength."


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