THE JACKAL, THE DOVE, AND THE PANTHER1
There was once a dove who built a nice soft nest as a home for her three little ones. She was very proud of their beauty, and perhaps talked about them to her neighbours more than she need have done, till at last everybody for miles round knew where the three prettiest baby doves in the whole country side were to be found.
One day a jackal who was prowling about in search of a dinner came by chance to the foot of the rock where the dove's nest was hidden away, and he suddenly bethought himself that if he could get nothing better he might manage to make a mouthful of one of the young doves. So he shouted as loud as he could, ' Ohe, ohe, mother dove.'
And the dove replied, trembling with fear, ' What do you want, sir?'
'One of your children,' said he; 'and if you don't throw it to me I will eat up you and the others as well.'
Now, the dove was nearly driven distracted at the jackal's words; but, in order to save the lives of the other two, she did at last throw the little one out of the nest. The jackal ate it up, and went home to sleep.
.Meanwhile the mother dove sat on the edge of her nest, crying bitterly, when a heron, who was living slowly
1 Contes po/vi/aires des Bassoulos. Recueillis et tra<luifs par E. Jacottet. Paris: Leroux, Editeur.