The Painted Jackal

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A prowling jackal once fell into a large vessel full of dye. When he returned home all his astonished friends said :
“What has befallen you ?”

He answered, with a curl of his tail:  “Was there ever anything in the world so fine as I am ? Look at me! Let no one ever presume to call me ‘jackal’ again.”

“What, then, are you to be called ?” asked they.

“Peacock,” you will henceforth call me Peacock,” replied the jackal, strutting up and down in all the glory of

“But,” said his friends, “a peacock can spread his tail magnificently. Can you spread your tail?”

“Well, no, I cannot quite do that,” replied the jackal.

“And a peacock,” continued they, “can make a fine melodious cry. Can you make a fine melodious cry?”

“It must be admitted,” said the pretender, “that I cannot do that either.”

“Then,” retorted they, “it is quite evident that if you are not a jackal, neither are you a peacock.”

And they drove him out of their company.

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