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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

509- Jackal the Recreant(1)

 

The jackal saw some chickens on the other bank of the river. Thus, his mouth watered for, he desired to eat one of them. He thought how to go to the other bank. He looked around and saw a camel eating dry grass.

Why do you eat dry grass?

This is what I have.

Do you want to eat ears of grain?

How can it be?

Look at the other bank. There is a field of grain.

If I go to it the peasants will prevent me from approaching it.

St-Takla.org Image: Wheat ears صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: عيدان قمح، حنطة، سنابل القمح

St-Takla.org Image: Wheat ears.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: عيدان قمح، حنطة، سنابل القمح.

Dont be afraid. Its mine. Lets cross the river together and Ill give you what you want of grain.

Ok. Ill carry you on my back and cross the river.

The jackal rode the camel and they crossed the river. As soon as the jackal saw the chickens, he snatched a fat one and ate it. On the other hand, the camel stood looking at the field perceiving that the jackal deceived him. The jackal wanted to return. When he asked the camel to take him back, he said, Ive been tired carrying you and crossing the river while, you ate a fat chicken and didnt give me a single ear of grain.

Wait a minute. Said the jackal.

While the camel was waiting, the jackal went to the owners of the field saying, Look. The camel has come from the other bank to eat the ears of your field. Hes looking at it and thinking earnestly of attacking it.

The farmers went taking their sticks and beat the camel who hardly escaped from them. The jackal asked him, Why are you sad?

You lied saying that the farm is yours and the farmers beat me. I was about to die.

Do you have severe pain?

Why not? They beat me severely.

The jackal laughed and said, Dont you know that I went and told them that you want to attack their farm?

Is this my reward? The camel reproached him bitterly.

Its my will. He answered mockingly. I do whatever pleases me. Take me back. Otherwise, Ill stir up the farmers to kill you.

The camel had no choice but to carry the jackal on his back and swim. When he reached the middle of the river, he began to dive. The jackal cried, What are you doing? Ill sank.

Its my will. I do whatever pleases me. The camel said laughing.

Thus, the jackal drank the same cup. He sank and died and the waves threw him on the shore.

 Be persecuted but not a persecutor.

Be crucified but not a crucifier.

Be oppressed but not an oppressor.

Suffer tribulations but afflict no one.

Be tender but not an envier

Hold on to the truth not to justice.

(St. Isaac the Syrian).

→ English translation of the story here at St-Takla.org: ابن آوى الجاحد.

_____

Footnotes and references for this page here at St-Takla.org:

(1) CF. Liewelyn, Robert. The Joy of the Saints, Spiritual Readings throughout the Year. Springfield: Illinois, 1989. (171).


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