The Man, the Tiger and the Six Judges
Once upon a time a Man, was walking along the road, when he came upon an iron cage, in which a great Tiger had been shut up by the villagers who had caught him.
As the man passed by, the Tiger called out and said to him, "Brother, have pity on me, and let me out of this cage for one minute only, to drink a little water, for I am dying of thirst." The Man answered, "No, I will not. Do you think I'm crazy? If I let you out of the cage you will eat me."
"Oh, please," answered the Tiger, "in truth I will not. I will never be so ungrateful. Just let me out, please, that I may drink some water and return."
Then the Man felt sorry for him, and opened the cage door. No sooner had he done so, than the Tiger, jumping out, said, "Now, I will eat you first, and rinse down the meal with a drink of water afterwards."
The Man cried, "How could you be so ungrateful? I was the one who opened the cage door!"
"You knew I was a tiger," said the Tiger. "What did you expect? You are a fool."
"Only do not kill me so quickly," said the Man. "Let us first ask the opinion of six, and if all of them say it is just and fair that you should eat me.” The Tiger agreed to this.
They first came to a Banyan tree. The Man repeated what had happened to the Banyan tree."
"This tiger," said the man, "begged me to let him out of his cage to drink a little water, and he promised not to hurt me if I did so, but now that I have let him out, he wishes to eat me. Is that fair?"
The Banyan tree answered, "Men often come to take shelter in the cool shade under my branches, from the scorching rays of the sun, but when they have rested, they cut and break my pretty branches, and scatter my leaves about the ground. Let the tiger eat the man, for men are an ungrateful race."
At these words the tiger would have instantly eaten him, but the Man said, "Tiger, Tiger, you must not eat me yet, for you promised that we should first hear the opinions of six."
"Very well," said the Tiger, and they went on their way.
After a little while they met a Camel, who they asked the same question to.
The Camel replied, "When I was young and strong, and could do much work, my master took care of me and gave me good food; but now that I am old, and have lost all my strength, he overloads me and does not look after me. Let the Tiger eat the Man, for men are in unjust."
The Tiger would then have eaten the Man, but the latter said, "Stop, Tiger, for we must first hear the judgement of six."
So they both went again on their way. At a little distance they found a Bullock lying by the roadside, who they asked the same question to.
The Bullock said, "When I was able to work, my master fed me well and tended me carefully, but now that I am old he has forgotten all I did for him, and left me by the roadside. Let the Tiger eat the man, for men have no pity."
Three out of the six had given judgment against the Man, but still he did not lose all hope, and stayed determined to ask another three.
They next met an Eagle flying through the air, to whom the Man stated the case.
The Eagle answered, "Whenever men see me they try to shoot me; they climb the rocks to my nest and steal my eggs. Let the Tiger eat the man, for men do not look after their world."
Then the Tiger began to roar, and said, "The judgment of all is against you!” But the Man answered, "It's not over yet! Stay yet a little longer, for two others must first be asked." After this they saw an Alligator, and the Man related the matter to him, hoping for a more favourable reply. But the Alligator said, "Whenever I put my nose out the water, men try to kill me. Let the Tiger eat the man, for as long as men live we shall have no rest."
The Man gave himself up as lost, but again he begged the Tiger to have patience, and let him ask the opinion of the sixth judge. Now the sixth was a Jackal.
What do you think the Jackal said? Did he allow the Tiger him to eat the Man?
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