a jackal sniffing at tigers’ prey,
surprised by the moon in the night,
cries at the moon as if it’s a man.
then it gnashes its teeth and eats.
under the trees, the tigers recline,
and watch the jackal feed.
they look at the moon and blink their eyes,
and look at the jackal again.
“shall we run it off?” a tiger asks,
while another blinks and yawns.
“oh no, let it eat, let it have its fill,
there’s plenty of food for all.”
the answer comes from a tigress, of course,
the heart of a tigress is warm.
but a jackal who feeds in the tigers’ den
may lose his life after all.
a cobra’s asleep under the tree
where the slumbering tigers dream.
its duty, to keep the dirt away
from the spring where the tigers drink.
if the jackal thirsts and trys to sip
from the tigers’ pure water source,
the cobra will rise and strike just once
and the jackal will rise no more.
tell me no lies and I’ll tell you none,
my story’s authentic, you see.
though couched in a meter a fairy might beat
it’s as real as you and me.