Tiger for Lunch....an Indian Tale
A lady, it is alleged, quarreled with her husband, and was proceeding to her father's house with her two children in tandem..
The travel from one village to another involved negotiation of a route involving a fairly dense forest, which, as in all tales is infested with ferocious animals like lions and tigers and cronies like jackals..
Though quarrelsome, the lady must have been very observant and shrewd..
As she was entering the forest area, she saw a fairly big tiger coming their way..
And she realized to her trepidation that she could not avoid a personal interview with the tiger, and the encounter would result in her becoming the lunch for the animal.
She was not prepared for that..
She thought out a plan..
Putting a false but almost convincingly brave face, she started a conversation with her children, all the time pretending that she had noticed nothing amiss..
"Children, I have been travelling in these jungles quite often, and I have always found that food for us is never scarce.. We get very fat and huge tigers in large numbers, and we can always stave away our hunger by eating at least a couple of tigers at anytime.. Here a plenty of them are at hand."
While talking so, she was also putting an ogling, toothy face (perhaps the memory of her husband helped in that), and the confident tone in which she declared the menu for her lunch and her appearance must have had their impact on the tiger and he really believed that if he was around, he would be eaten up by this lady sooner or later..
He thought that running away making as little noise as possible was the best way of escape, and was very quick in that swift movement..
On his bolting path, he met a jackal.. The latter enquired about the reason for the very fast and frightened retreat of the tiger, and was informed of the appearance of the lady tiger-eater..
The jackal laughed his head off, and replied." A human lady eating a tiger? Impossible.. True, she may eat her husband, but she cannot do that with you"
The tiger was not convinced..Then the jackal offered to clear up the issue by visiting the lady in person, and asked to tiger to keep company with him..The tiger was terribly afraid..
But after some management talk, it was decided that the jackal would tie himself atop the tiger, and they would face the lady together..
So the two animals marched towards the lady and her children, the jackal tied and seated atop the tiger..
The lady saw the two approaching, even from a distance..
Resourcefulness did not take leave of her.
.She shouted aloud.." You lazy and cunning Jackal.. You could manage to bring only a single puny tiger for my food? Don't you remember that I wanted at least three big tigers, and we had even talked about the price..
Now I will have to be satisfied with one small tiger .. It is really bad.. I shall make you the pickle for my lunch as I eat thing wretched tiger."
Hearing this, the tiger was terrified beyond all levels, and turned back and ran, ever forgetting that his friend was atop.. He ran helter skelter and was oblivious to the agonized cries of the jackal, which was tied fast on the tiger..
The tiger hit a low lying tree in his path, and that broke the skull of the fox who left for the abode of death...
No one knows, the lady would have eaten the tiger too, if she had to.