316 THE JACKAL, DOVE, AND PANTHER
past the rock, was filled with pity for her, and stopped to ask, ' What is the matter, you poor dove?'
And the dove answered, ' A jackal came by, and asked me to give him one of my little ones, and said that if I refused he would jump on my nest and eat us all up.'
But the heron replied, ' You should not have believed him. He could never have jumped so high. He only deceived you because he wanted something for supper.' And with these words the heron flew off.
He had hardly got out of sight when again the jackal came creeping slowly round the foot of the rock. And when he saw the dove he cried out a second time, ' Ohe, ohe, mother dove ! give me one of your little ones, or I will jump on your nest and cat you ail up.'
This time the dove knew better, and she answered boldly, ' Indeed, I shall do nothing of the sort,' though her heart beat wildly with fear when she saw the jackal preparing for a spring.
However, he only cut himself against the rock, and thought he had better stick to threats, so he started again with his old cry, 'Mother dove, mother dove! be quick and give me one of your little ones, or I will eat you all up.'
But the mother dove only answered as before, ' Indeed, I shall do nothing of the sort, for I know we are safely out of your reach.'
The jackal felt it was quite hopeless to get what he wanted, and asked, ' Tell me, mother dove, how have you suddenly become so wise?'
' It was the heron who told me,' replied she.
' And which way did he go?' said the jackal.
' Down there among the reeds. You can see him if you look,' said the dove.
Then the jackal nodded good-bye, and went quickly after the heron. He soon came up to the great bird, who was standing on a store on the edge of the river watching for a nice fat fish. 'Tell me, heron,' said he, 'when the