The Orange Fairy Book HTML version

The Adventures of the Younger Son of the Jackal
Now that the father and elder brother were both dead, all that was left of the
jackal family was one son, who was no less cunning than the others had been.
He did not like staying in the same place any better than they, and nobody ever
knew in what part of the country he might be found next.
One day, when we was wandering about he beheld a nice fat sheep, which was
cropping the grass and seemed quite contented with her lot.
'Good morning,' said the jackal, 'I am so glad to see you. I have been looking for
you everywhere.'
'For ME?' answered the sheep, in an astonished voice; 'but we have never met
'No; but I have heard of you. Oh! You don't know what fine things I have heard!
Ah, well, some people have all the luck!'
'You are very kind, I am sure,' answered the sheep, not knowing which way to
look. 'Is there any way in which I can help you?'
'There is something that I had set my heart on, though I hardly like to propose it
on so short an acquaintance; but from what people have told me, I thought that
you and I might keep house together comfortably, if you would only agree to try. I
have several fields belonging to me, and if they are kept well watered they bear
wonderful crops.'
'Perhaps I might come for a short time,' said the sheep, with a little hesitation;
'and if we do not get on, we can part company.'
'Oh, thank you, thank you,' cried the jackal; 'do not let us lose a moment.' And he
held out his paw in such an inviting manner that the sheep got up and trotted
beside him till they reached home.
'Now,' said the jackal, 'you go to the well and fetch the water, and I will pour it into
the trenches that run between the patches of corn.' And as he did so he sang
lustily. The work was very hard, but the sheep did not grumble, and by-and-by
was rewarded at seeing the little green heads poking themselves through earth.
After that the hot sun ripened them quickly, and soon harvest time was come.
Then the grain was cut and ground and ready for sale.
When everything was complete, the jackal said to the sheep:
'Now let us divide it, so that we can each do what we like with his share.'
'You do it,' answered the sheep; 'here are the scales. You must weigh it