Once upon a time under the rule of Brahmadatta, King of Banaras, many hundreds of wild goats dwelt in a mountain-cave in a wooden district on the slopes of the Himalayas.
Not far from their place of abode a jackal named Putimamsa with his wife Veni lived in there a cave.
One day as he was ranging about with his wife, he spied those goats and thought, “I must find some means to eat the flesh of these goats,” and by some device he killed a single goat. Both he and his wife by feeding on goat’s flesh waxed strong and gross of body. Gradually the goats were destroyed. Amongst them was a wise female goat named Melamata.
The jackal though skillful in devices could not kill her, and taking counsel with his wife he said, “My dear, all the goats have died out. We must devise how to eat this she-goat. Now here is my plan. You are to go by yourself, and become friendly with her, and when confidence has sprung up between you, I will lie down and pretend to be dead. Then you are to draw near to the goat and say, ‘My dear, my husband is dead and I am desolate; except you I have no relative: come, let us weep and lament, and bury his body.’ And with these words come and bring her with you. Then I will spring up and kill her by a bite in the neck.”
She readily agreed and after making friendship with the goat, when confidence was established, she addressed her in the words suggested by her husband.
The goat replied, “My dear, all my kinsfolk have been eaten by your husband. I am afraid I cannot come.”
But being repeatedly importuned the goat thought he certainly must be dead and consented to go with her.
On her way there she thought, “Who knows what will happen?’ and being suspicious she made the she-jackal go in font, keeping a sharp look-out for the jackal.
He heard the sound of their steps and thought,’ here comes the goat,' and put up his head and rolling his eyes looked about him. The goat on seeing him do this said, “This wicked wretch wants to take me in and kill me he lies there making a pretence of being dead,” and she turned about and fled.
When the she-jackal asked why she ran away and made straight for her own abode. And the she-jackal failing to stop her was enraged with her, and went to her husband and sat down lamenting. Then in jackal rebuking her said. Veni my wife, you have lost your wit.
On hearing this the she-jackal spoke. You too, my lord, were hardly wise, and, witless creature, raised your head, staring about with open eyes, though pretending to be dead.
But the she-jackal comforted Putimamsa and said, “My lord do not vex yourself, I will find a way to bring her here again and when she comes, be on your guard, catch her.”
Then she sought the goat and said, “My friend, your coming proved of service to us for as
soon as you appeared, my lord recovered consciousness, and he is now alive. Come and have friendly speech with him.”
She goat thought, “this wicked wretch wants to take me in. I must not act like an open foe; I will find means to deceive her.”
She agreed and said she will not come alone, but will come with her friends. “Each of these,” she added, “is accompanied by five hundred dogs so I shall appear with a guard of two thousand dogs. If they should not find food, they will kill and eat you and your mate.’
On hearing this the she-jackal was so frightened that she thought, “I have had quite enough of her coming to us, I will find means to stop her from coming,”
She ran in great haste, as for her life, and taking her lord with her, fled away. Then they never dared to come back to that spot.