The Lioness and the long Jackal

Venkataraman Singh Shyam

Crafts Museum

Crafts Museum
New Delhi, India

Once upon a time a lioness gave birth to two cubs and for a while she could not go out hunting. So, her husband, the lion, went out to hunt and brought home the animals he killed. One day he could not find any prey. As he was returning, he saw a jackal cub. He raised his paw to strike the cub when pity for the tiny creature forced him to bring it home. "He is just a cub" said the lion tenderly and brought it home carefully between his teeth. "What did you get today?" asked the lioness. The lion replied embarrassingly, "I could not get a single animal. Then I saw this cub. I didn't have the heart to kill him. But you may kill and eat him if you like." "When you did not have the heart to kill him," said the lioness instantly, "How can I?" She then patted the cub saying lovingly, "He will be my third son and will grow up with our cubs." The two lion cubs and the jackal cub soon grew plump and frisky. One day, while the cubs were playing, an elephant passed by. "Who is that intruder?" said one of the lion cubs, "Let us go and attack him." "Wait brother that is an elephant. He is strong. Let us run away or we will get hurt!" The lion cubs laughed at the jackal cub, "Run away? Ha! Ha! Ha!" They came home teasing the jackal and told the story to their mother. "You should have seen it Mother, it was so funny! The way he put his tail between his legs, Ha! Ha! Ha!" The jackal cub was very upset. "I should have left you two with the elephant. I wish I hadn't warned you." The lioness got up, “Calm down!” she said to the jackal. When they were alone, the lioness said, "You must never speak like that to them. They are your older brothers." The jackal was still upset and shouted back, "So what? Do you think I am not as good as them? I will not let them make fun of me. I am going to kill them." Then she came out firmly and said, "Listen to me, my cub. You are the son of a jackal. I brought you up because you were helpless. As long as my sons are small, they will not harm you. But when they grow up they will fight you and kill you." "Before that happens" she said with concern, "you had better leave and find your own pack.” The poor jackal cub understood and left to join his own pack.


  • Title: The Lioness and the long Jackal
  • Creator: Venkataraman Singh Shyam
  • Location: Madhya Pradesh
  • Physical Dimensions: Acrylic paints on Paper, 19 x 23 inches
  • Provenance: Madhya Pradesh
  • Type: Gond Painting

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