JACKAL OR TIGER?
One hot night, in Hindustan, a king and queen lay awake in the palace in the midst of the city. Every now and then a faint air blew through the lattice, and they hoped they were going to sleep, but they never did. Presently they became more broad awake than ever at the sound of a howl outside the palace.
' Listen to that tiger ! ' remarked the king.
' Tiger ? ' replied the queen. ' How should there be a tiger inside the city? It was only a jackal.'
' I tell you it was a tiger,' said the king.
' And I tell you that you were dreaming if you thought it was anything but a jackal,' answered the queen.
' I say it was a tiger,' cried the king; ' don't contradict me.'
' Nonsense !' snapped the queen. ' It was a jackal.' And the dispute waxed so warm that the king said at last:
' Very well, we'll call the guard and ask; and if it was a jackal I'll leave this kingdom to you and go away; and if it was a tiger then you shall go, and I will marry a new wife.'
' As you like,' answered the queen ; ' there isn't any doubt which it was.'
So the king called the two soldiers who were on guard outside and put the question to them. But, whilst the dispute was going on, the king and queen had got so excited and talked so loud that the guards had heard nearly all they said, and one man observed to the other: