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Contents > Author > Sara Cone Bryant > The Little Jackal and the Camel 1873- Unknown
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Sara Cone Bryant
The Little Jackal and the Camel
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All these stories about the little Jackal
that I have told you, show how clever the
little Jackal was. But you know--if you
don't, you will when you are grown up--
that no matter how clever you are, sooner
or later you surely meet some one who is
cleverer. It is always so in life. And it
was so with the little Jackal. This is what
happened.

The little Jackal was, as you know,
exceedingly fond of shell-fish, especially of
river crabs. Now there came a time when
he had eaten all the crabs to be found on
his own side of the river. He knew there
must be plenty on the other side, if he
could only get to them, but he could not
swim.

One day he thought of a plan. He went
to his friend the Camel, and said,--

"Friend Camel, I know a spot where the
sugar-cane grows thick; I'll show you the
way, if you will take me there."

"Indeed I will," said the Camel, who
was very fond of sugar-cane. "Where is
it?"

"It is on the other side of the river,"
said the little Jackal; "but we can manage
it nicely, if you will take me on your back
and swim over."

The Camel was perfectly willing, so the
little Jackal jumped on his back, and the
Camel swam across the river, carrying him.
When they were safely over, the little Jackal
jumped down and showed the Camel the
sugar-cane field; then he ran swiftly
along the river bank, to hunt for crabs;
the Camel began to eat sugar-cane. He ate
happily, and noticed nothing around him.

Now, you know, a Camel is very big,
and a Jackal is very little. Consequently,
the little Jackal had eaten his fill by the
time the Camel had barely taken a mouthful.
The little Jackal had no mind to wait
for his slow friend; he wanted to be off
home again, about his business. So he ran
round and round the sugar-cane field, and
as he ran he sang and shouted, and made
a great hullabaloo.

Of course, the villagers heard him at
once.

"There is a Jackal in the sugar-cane,"
they said; "he will dig holes and destroy
the roots; we must go down and drive him
out." So they came down, with sticks and
stones. When they got there, there was no
Jackal to be seen; but they saw the great
Camel, eating away at the juicy sugar-
cane. They ran at him and beat him, and
stoned him, and drove him away half
dead.

When they had gone, leaving the poor
Camel half killed, the little Jackal came
dancing back from somewhere or other.

"I think it's time to go home, now," he
said; "don't you?"

"Well, you ARE a pretty friend!" said the
Camel. "The idea of your making such
a noise, with your shouting and singing!
You brought this upon me. What in the
world made you do it? Why did you shout
and sing?"

"Oh, I don't know WHY," said the little
Jackal,--"I always sing after dinner!"

"So?" said the Camel, "Ah, very well,
let us go home now."

He took the little Jackal kindly on his
back and started into the water. When
he began to swim he swam out to where
the river was the very deepest. There he
stopped, and said,--

"Oh, Jackal!"

"Yes," said the little Jackal.

"I have the strangest feeling," said the
Camel,--"I feel as if I must roll over."

"`Roll over'!" cried the Jackal. "My
goodness, don't do that! If you do that,
you'll drown me! What in the world makes
you want to do such a crazy thing? Why
should you want to roll over?"

"Oh, I don't know WHY," said the Camel
slowly, "but I always roll over after dinner!"

So he rolled over.

And the little Jackal was drowned, for
his sins, but the Camel came safely home.

 

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