Sher Singh was a mighty lion who ruled over thick, deep forest. He was very strong and big. The animals of the forest respected him.
One day, a Jackal came up to him and said, “Your majesty, you are such a mighty ruler. But you have no attendants to wait upon you. I have come to you offer my services to you. I hope, you will accept my offer and make me your humble servant”.
Sher Singh agreed to take him into his services. He said, “All right, if you really desire to serve me, you may live with me in my cave. Your duty will be to look for an animal that I can hunt. If you see any animal, you should inform me and say, ‘Oh mighty one, come and shine forth in all your might. I will then hunt the animal and eat its flesh. The left over will be yours”. The jackal accepted the offer and promised to perform his duties well.
From that day onwards, he started living in the lion’s cave. Everyday, he would go out of the cave and look for some animals. If he sighted any animal, he would come running to the lion and say, “Oh mighty one, come and shine forth in all your might”. The lion would then kill the animal and eat a major portion of its flesh. The jackal would eat the leftover. He was happy with what he got. He got his food without having to hunt for it.
Months passed and the jackal grew very fat and strong. He started comparing his strength with that of the lion. “Even I can kill animals. Then I will be able to eat the whole of my kill himself. Moreover, I can lead an independent life. I am really fed up of leading the life. Of a servant”.
The jackal then went to the lion and said, “Your majesty, I have sincerely served you all these months. You also took care to provide me well. Under your care, I have grown quite fat and strong. Now I feel that I can lead an independent life and hunt my own food. Therefore, I have come here to seek your permission to leave your cave and lead an independent life”.
The lion knew that the jackal had become proud of his strength. He realized that he was being foolish. But he also knew that the jackal would in no case listen to him. Therefore, he said, “Well, my dear jackal, you have been a sincere servant. I have always tried to feed you well. So why do you want to go elsewhere when you can easily get food from me?”
The jackal was, however, bent on going away. He said, “Your majesty, I want to test my strength. I want to see if I will be able to live on my own or not”.
Seeing his firm decision, the lion said, “Well then, I have an idea. Let us change our position. You can just sit and relax whereas; I will go out looking for an animal. You can then, kill the animal and eat your share. I will eat the left over”. The jackal thought it to be a very good plan.
Next day, the lion went out of the cave and saw an elephant. He came to the jackal and informed him about the elephant. He said, “Sir, an elephant is sighted today. Please shine forth in all your might”.
The jackal went out and prepared to kill the elephant. He proudly walked and climbed up a rock. From that height, he jumped onto the elephant. But, instead of falling on the elephant’s back, he fell on to the ground. The elephant was quite shocked. He stepped over the jackal and killed him. Poor jackal! He lost his life due to his own folly.