The Lion and his Whelps, and how he fostered a young Jackal.

WHEN the sun went to the western quarter, Kho-jisteh, arrayed in man's apparel, repaired to the parrot, to ask leave. The parrot laughed heartily at seeing Khojisteh dressed in man's clothes, and said to her, “As this is a dark night, you have done well in put-ting on man's clothes, and coming alone, instead of bringing the slave along with you. To-day, as a parrot, an old friend of mine, was flying, seeing me in the cage, he approached me, and from him I heard a tale similar to that I related to you last night.” Khojisteh asked, “What is the nature of it?”

The parrot began: “Once on a time, a lion dwelt in a desert along with his female and two whelps. One day he roamed about the woods and thickets in quest of game; but, notwithstanding all his search and labour, not being able to find any thing, was returning towards his own den, when he saw, lying on the ground, a jackal cub only a few days old: he took it up, and brought it to the lioness, saying to her, This is all the game I have picked up to-day; I cannot find in my heart to eat it: I can fast one or two days, but you are not able to do so; therefore eat this. The lioness answered, You are a male, whose heart is hard and void of compassion, yet will not eat it; how then can I, who am a female with two young ones, and have a tender heart, devour it? Nay, if you command me, I will nourish this orphan, and supply the place of its mother. The lion replied, It is well. A month or two after this, the lion's whelps and the young jackal, all three were increased in size. The lion's whelps imagined the young jackal was their brother, and they played together as such. One day these three young ones went to hunt together, and saw an elephant. The young jackal fled from the place, and hid himself under a tree. The lion whelps, on seeing their elder brother run away, fled also. An hour after, all the young ones came home together, and told their adventure to the lioness; who then observed, He is the cub of a jackal! how should he be valiant? and what does he know of war?”

The parrot having finished this story, said to Khojisteh, “Stand up now, and go to your lover.” Khojisteh wanted to have gone: immediately the cock crowed, and dawn appearing, her departure was de­ferred.