THE TIGER, THE BRAHMIN AND THE JACKAL is a popular Indian fairy tale
with a long history and many variants.
Mary Frere included a version
in her 1868 collection of Indian folktales, Old Deccan Days, the
first collection of Indian folktales in English. A version was also
Joseph Jacobs ' collection Indian Fairy Tales.
* 1 Plot
* 2 Variants
* 3 See also
* 4 Notes
* 5 External links
A brahmin passes a tiger in a trap. The tiger pleads for his release,
promising not to eat the brahmin. The brahmin sets him free but no
sooner is the tiger out of the cage then he says he is going to eat
the brahmin. The brahmin is horrified and tells the tiger how unjust
he is. They agree to ask the first three things they encounter to
judge between them. The first thing they encounter is a tree , who,
having suffered at the hands of humans, answers that the tiger should
eat the brahmin. Next a buffalo , exploited and mistreated by humans,
agrees it is only just that the brahmin should be eaten. Finally they
meet a jackal , who at first feigns incomprehension of what has
happened and asks to see the trap. Once there he claims he still
doesn't understand. The tiger gets back in the trap to demonstrate and
the jackal quickly shuts him in, suggesting to the brahmin that they
leave matters thus.
an illustration by
John D. Batten for 1912 book by Joseph Jacobs
There are more than a hundred versions of this tale spread across
the world. In some the released animal is a crocodile, in some a
snake, a tiger and others a wolf .
Some variants are very old, going back at least to the Panchatantra
Fables of Bidpai and the
Jataka tales . In Europe it appeared some
900 years ago in the Disciplina Clericalis of
Petrus Alphonsi , and
later in the
Gesta Romanorum and the Directorium Vitae Humanae of John
of Capua .
There are also modern illustrated versions of the tale, such as The
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* Children\'s literature portal
The Wolf of Zhongshan
* ^ Frere, Mary (1896). " The Brahman, the Tiger, and the Six
Judges". Old Deccan Days.
* ^ Dorson, R. M. (1999). History of British folklore. Taylor and
Francis. ISBN 0-415-20476-3 . p. 334.
* ^ Jacobs, Joseph (1892). Indian Fairy Tales (1913 ed.). Forgotten
Books. pp. 69–73. ISBN 1-60506-119-0 . where it appears as The
Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal. Jacobs gives his source as
"Steel-Temple, Wideawake Stories, pp. 116-20; first published in
Indian Antiquary, xii. p. 170 seq." It can be found online here at
Google Books and here with its illustration.
* ^ Jacobs in his notes on the tale mentions that "No less than 94
parallels are given by Prof. K. Krohn in his elaborate discussion of
this fable in his dissertation, Mann und Fuchs, (Helsingfors, 1891),
World Tales by
Idries Shah has a version called The Serpent
collected in Albania.
The Farmer and the Viper is a more minimal
* ^ See Ingratitude Is the World\'s Reward: folktales of
Aarne-Thompson-Uther type 155 for examples. Other examples include the
Mexican story of Judge Coyote found in Creeden, Sharon (1994). Fair is
Fair: World Folktales of Justice. august house. pp. 67–69. ISBN
0-87483-400-7 . accessible in Google Books, There is No Truth in the
World, found in Ben-Amos, Dan; et al. (2006). Folktales of the Jews:
Tales from Eastern Europe. Jewish Publication Society. pp. 288–290.
ISBN 0-8276-0830-6 . accessible in Google Books.
* ^ Shah, Idries (1991). World Tales. Octagon Press. p. 265. ISBN
* ^ Lock, Kath (1995). The Tiger, the
Brahmin & the Jackal. Era
Publications. ISBN 1-86374-078-3 .
* ^ Gleeson, Brian (1992). The tiger and the brahmin. illustrated
by Kurt Vargo. Neugebauer Press. ISBN 0-88708-233-5 .
* ^ See
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