318 THE JACKAL, DOVE, AND PANTHER
So saying she trotted off, and the jackal marched into the cave, where he found ten little panthers, and instantly ate one up. By-and-bye the panther returned from hunting, and said to him, ' Jackal, bring out my little ones for their supper.'
The jackal fetched them out one by one till he had brought out nine, and he took the last one and brought it out again, so the whole ten seemed to be there, and the panther was quite satisfied.
Next day she went again to the chase, and the jackal ate up another little panther, so now there wTere only eight. In the evening, when she came back, the panther said, ' Jackal, bring out my little ones! '
And the jackal brought out first one and then another, and the last one he brought out three times, so that the whole ten seemed to be there.
The following day the same thing happened, and the next and the next and the next, till at length there was not even one left, and the rest of the day the jackal busied himself with digging a large hole at the back of the den.
That night, when the panther returned from hunting, she said to him as usual, ' Jackal, bring out my little ones.'
But the jackal replied: ' Bring out your little ones, indeed! Why, you know as well as I do that you have eaten them all up.'
Of course the panther had not the least idea what the jackal meant by this, and only repeated, 'Jackal, bring out my children.' As she got no answer she entered the cave, but found no jackal, for he had crawled through the hole he had made and escaped. And, what was wrorse, she did not find the little ones either.
Now the panther was not going to let the jackal get off like that, and set off at a trot to catch him. The jackal, however, had got a good start, and he reached a place where a swarm of bees deposited their honey in the cleft of a rock. Then he stood still and waited till the