A jackal once got a thorn in his paw. “Oh, oh!” he cried as he walked along the path in the forest. “What shall I do, what shall I do?” Then he met an old woman: “Please, dear grannie,” he said, “pull the thorn out of my paw.” The old woman pulled it out, the jackal thanked her and went away. But in a minute he came back and asked: “Where is my thorn, grannie?”
“I do not know,” answered the old woman. “Who needs a thorn?”
Then the jackal began to cry: “Oh, where is my thorn?” he cried. “I need it, I need it very much!”
The old woman was sorry for the jackal and said: “Do not cry. Here is an egg for you.”
The jackal took the egg and ran away with it. He came to a village and knocked at the door of the first house. A man opened it.
“Please, my good man,” said the jackal, “may I stay the night with you? It is late and cold.”
“Please come in,” answered the man.
The jackal came in. “May I put my egg on this plate?” he asked.
“Yes, of course you may.”
In the night the jackal got up, ate the egg and put the shell back on the plate.
In the morning the jackal asked the man: “Where is my egg?”
“I do not know,” was the answer. Then the jackal began to cry: “Oh, my big, big egg!” he said, “Your cat ate it in the night. I am sure!”
The man was sorry for the jackal and gave him a hen instead of the egg. The jackal took the hen and ran away with it.
He ran and ran and came to the next village in the evening. There he knocked at the first door and asked the woman who opened the door: “May I stay the night with you, please? It is so cold outside!”
“Please, come in little jackal,” said the woman.
“And where can I put my hen?” the jackal
“Let the hen stay with our goat,” the woman said.
In the night the jackal got up, went to the place where the goat was and ate up the hen. In the morning he said to the woman: “Let us go and get my hen.”
But there was no hen, of course, there were only feathers and bones on the ground. The jackal began to cry: “Oh, my hen, my beautiful gray hen! Your goat ate it in the night!”
The woman was sorry for the jackal and gave him one of the goat’s kids instead of the hen. The jackal thanked the woman and ran away. He ran and ran and he came to another village. It was almost evening and he knocked at the first house. “May I stay the night in your house?” he asked the man who opened the door. “I am very, very tired.”
“Please, come in,” the man said.
“Where may I put my little kid?” the jackal asked.
“Tie it to the end of my son’s bed,” the man said.
At night the jackal ate the kid and put its bones on the boy’s bed.
In the morning he asked the man: “Where is my little kid?” They went up to the boy’s bed, but there were only horns and bones there instead of the kid.
“Oh, my little kid, my dear little kid!” Your son ate it in the night, I am sure,” said the jackal and began to cry. The man said do not cry. I shall give you a big goat instead of your little kid.”
“No, no, I do not want the goat! Give me your son!”
“Alright, go out and wait a little at the door,” said the man.
Then the man brought him a big bag and said: “Here is the boy. He is in the bag. Goodbye!”
The jackal took the bag and went away quickly. He tried to run, but he could not, the bag was very heavy.
“This is a very big boy,” the jackal thought. “Or perhaps it is not a boy. Perhaps the man put stones into the bag! I shall open it and see.”
He opened the bag and two big dogs jumped out of it! In a minute they tore the jackal to pieces.