JACKAL OR TIGER - an old fairy tale from India

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ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 283
In this 283rd issue of the Baba Indaba’s Children's Stories series, Baba Indaba narrates the Indian story of “JACKAL OR TIGER”
In far away Hindustan a king and queen lay awake in the palace in the midst of the city. Every now and then a faint air blew through the lattice, and they hoped they were going to sleep, but they never did. Presently they became wide awake than ever at the sound of a howl outside the palace.
‘Listen to that tiger!’ remarked the king.
‘Tiger?’ replied the queen. ‘How should there be a tiger inside the city? It was only a jackal.’ And so they had a disagreement about what kind of animal it was.

In the morning the king asked the guards what kind of animal it was, they replied “Tiger” for the queen had told them to say this as the king always had to be right. The king nodded and made no remark. He sent for a palanquin (a covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers), and ordered the queen to be placed in it, bidding the four bearers of the palanquin to take her a long way off into the forest and there leave her. In spite of her tears, she was forced to obey, and away the bearers went for three days and three nights until they came to a dense wood. There they set down the palanquin with the queen in it, and started back again.

Now the queen thought to herself that the king could not mean to send her away for good, and that as soon as he had got over his fit of temper he would summon her back; so she stayed quite still for a long time, listening for approaching footsteps, but heard none. After a time she put her head out of the palanquin and looked about her. Day was breaking, and birds and insects were beginning to stir. Although the queen’s eyes wandered in all directions, there was no sign of any human being. Then her spirit gave way, and she began to cry.

It so happened that close to the spot where the queen’s palanquin had been set down, there dwelt a man who had a tiny farm in the midst of the forest, where he and his wife lived alone far from any neighbours. It was he who heard and found the queen crying, and it is here the story begins. For what the king and queen did not know was that at the time she was left in the forest, she had just conceived.

So, what happened, did the king leave the queen in the forest? What of the unborn child? Did the queen make it to full term and did the child survive her labour? If the child did, was it a boy or a girl? It is well documented that many children born into poverty and squalor, often don’t survive, mainly because of the environment they are born into. Lastly, were the king and queen ever reunited or was it really the king’s intent to exile the queen forever? Anyway, to find answers to these questions, download and read the story for yourself.

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children's stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as "Father of Stories".

Each issue also has a "WHERE IN THE WORLD - LOOK IT UP" section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story. HINT - use Google maps.

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.
INCLUDES LINKS TO DOWNLOAD 8 FREE STORIES

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