Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

The Lion and the Jackal

S sits, his legs crossed, and recites the story from memory:

One day, a hungry jackal came across a lion in the forest.

“What are you doing here?” asked the lion.

Realizing he had few options, the jackal responded, “Why, I am here to serve you, my Lord!”

“In that case, go to the top of that hill and tell me what animals you see.” The jackal went to the top of the hill and spotted an elephant. The lion hunted and killed the elephant, having his fill and leaving the rest for the jackal.

This continued for months, and the jackal grew restless. [Someone asks, What does ‘restless’ mean?” S responds, “I don’t know!”] One day, he approached the lion and said, “Master, I appreciate the help you’ve given me, but I want to eat a meal I have hunted myself.”

“Are you sure you can do this?” asked the lion, and the jackal nodded in response.

So the lion went to the top of the hill and spotted an elephant. The jackal ran after the elephant and tried to jump on him but missed. The elephant, confused, stepped on the jackal and killed him.

The lion discovered the jackal minutes later. He mourned, “If only my friend knew his limitations, he would have lived a long and happy life!”

When I arrived here six years ago, S hadn’t even been born. Now he’s a storyteller. Will he tell another story?

“No, not right now,” he responds. “My mouth is tired.”


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