The Lion And The Jackal
There lived a lion called Vajradaunstra in the jungle, who had two attendants, a jackal and a wolf.
One day a caravan was passing by, and one of the camels in the caravan was an expectant female. As she was not able to walk, and was in labour pains, the caravan set her free and left her behind.
Within moments, she fell prey to the lion, and while the three of them were eating. They cut the womb of the camel, from which a baby camel came out.
Since, it was just a baby, and they already had a good meal out of the camel, the lion decided to spare the baby camel’s life. He brought the baby camel home.
The lion said to the little camel, “From now onward you will live with us, and will have nothing to fear from, even me. I will let everybody know that you are under my protection, and you can wander about fearlessly and feed on the green grass of the jungle.”
From then onward, they lived happily. The four of them would tell each other stories, and the camel was always found along with the lion.
One day, the lion returned home badly injured after a fight with a wild elephant. He was unable to even walk, let alone go out and hunt.
Unable to bear the hunger, he asked the camel, jackal and the wolf to go in search of some small animal that he will be able to kill, even in his condition. Thus, the hunger for all three of them would be satisfied. But the three of them returned empty-handed in the evening, even after their efforts to search for an animal.
The jackal began wondering in hunger, “The young camel does not belong among us, and he will be able to provide food for many days. But, I have to be cunning to convince the lion to kill him, as he has promised not to harm him.”
He said to the camel, “Our master will soon die of hunger, and so will we. I and the wolf will die of starvation, and some other animal will prey on you after they know that there is nobody to protect you anymore. I suggest you must offer yourself to the lion, and save us from dying. For your sacrifice, you will be reborn in a body twice the size of what you have in this life!”
The young camel agreed immediately, “Had it not been for the lion, I would have been dead long ago. I shall be rewarded hundred-times for my sacrifice, and find a place in heaven. I agree to offer my body.”
In the evening, the jackal said to the lion, that the camel will be blessed with twice the size of the body in his next birth, if he killed him and worshiped God before eating him. He explained that the camel was willing to offer his body for this sacrifice.