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The Little Jackal and the Crocodile

One day, a little jackal went down to the beach nearby to get some crabs for dinner. But when he reached into the water, a crocodile bit his paw. The little jackal didn't cry out although he was scared. He actually said, "Ha! That crocodile thinks he has bit my paw but instead a piece of wood!" The crocodile quickly dropped the little jackal's paw as he thought he was actually holding a piece of wood. Then the jackal raced away, far enough so that the crocodile couldn't get him. "Thank you, crocodile! For that wasn't actually a piece of wood. It was my paw." He laughed, and ran away.

The next day, the little jackal was hungry and went over to the beach again to get some more crabs for dinner. This time he stayed away, far away enough so that if the crocodile was there he wouldn't bite him. "Hmm… If there are bubbles in the water, It means there are crabs." He said. Bubbles rose as soon as he said that and then the jackal knew the crocodile was there. "Thank you crocodile! For I tricked you twice. Bubbles mean there is a crocodile underwater!" And then leaped away. But the crocodile was really mad and followed him.

This time, the jackal was fed up and saw piles of figs. He did not know that the crocodile was watching him. "Maybe I can eat these instead of crab. That crocodile will still be at the beach waiting for me." He thought out loud. The little jackal tasted one and said, "These are pretty nice! Until that crocodile is gone, I will be feasting on these figs." The crocodile heard this and thought that he could disguise as a fig pile. So he waited until the little jackal was gone and hid himself under a pile of figs.

The little jackal went to the place where the figs were and saw a bigger pile of figs waiting there for him. He thought that no bush can drop that many figs in one night, so he was suspicious. "I heard that the figs that rattle in the wind are the ripest and juiciest figs of all." He said. As soon as the crocodile heard this, he shook himself a little as the breeze went past. Then the little jackal knew he was there. "Thank you crocodile! I have tricked you three times now, for that was a lie to test if you were there." He chuckled. And then skidded away.

This time, the crocodile was really REALLY mad, and gnashed his teeth and swished his tail. So he followed the jackal home with a hot head.

Soon, the jackal went back to the beach as he thought that the crocodile was gone, but he was hidden inside his house. Finally, the little jackal got to taste the taste of crab again, and went back home satisfied. But as he reached his home gates, his door was broke open and it looked suspicious so the little jackal made up a trick again and said, "House, why are you not welcoming me back as I come through the gates?" As soon as the crocodile heard this, he said, "Welcome back, little jackal!" In the best voice he could and then the little jackal knew he was there so he said, "Thank you crocodile! For I have tricked you four times now. I might as well burn my house up and make a new one by the beach shore now you are here." He laughed. And did what he said.

Now the little jackal is fishing crabs all day, laughing at the thought of tricking a crocodile four times. He has an improved house and he is very happy because crab is his favourite food.

(By Dory Sheng)

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