THE JACKAL AND THE SPRING
Once upon a time all the streams and rivers ran so dry that the animals did not know how to get water. After a very long search, which had been quite in vain, they found a tiny spring, which only wanted to be dug deeper so as to yield plenty of water. So the beasts said to each other, ' Let us dig a well, and then we shall not fear to die of thirst; ' and they all consented except the jackal, who hated work of any kind, and generally got somebody to do it for him.
When they had finished their well, they held a council as to who should be made the guardian of the well, so that the jackal might not come near it, for, they said, ' he would not work, therefore he shall not drink.'
After some talk it was decided that the rabbit should be left in charge; then all the other beasts went back to their homes.
When they were out of sight the jackal arrived. ' Good morning! Good morning, rabbit!' and the rabbit politely said, ' Good morning!' Then the jackal unfastened the little bag that hung at his side, and pulled out of it a piece of honeycomb which he began to eat, and turning to the rabbit he remarked:
' As you see, rabbit, I am not thirsty in the least, and this is nicer than any water.'
' Give me a bit,' asked the rabbit. So the jackal handed him a very little morsel.
' Oh, how good it is!' cried the rabbit; ' give me a little more, dear friend!'