A jackal named Chandarava lived in a forest near a town. One night, he entered the town in search of food. The dogs sighted him, and, furiously barking, pursued him in order to tear him to pieces with their sharp teeth. Frightened to death, the jackal took to a precipitate flight, closely followed by the dogs, and entered the house of a dyer which was near at hand and fell into a big vat full of indigo juice which was there for dyeing purposes. Seeing this the dogs went their way. The jackal got fully soaked in the indigo, and the whole of his body was dyed deep blue. Well has it been said that a fool, a woman, a crab, a fish, a drunkard, and indigo never leave a person once they cling to him.
With great trouble, the jackal finally managed to climb out of the vat and escape. When he passed through the streets again, the dogs did not know him to be a jackal, being deluded by his dazzling colour, and so did not interfere with him. The jackal returned to the forest. The lion, the elephant, the tiger, the leopard, the wolf, the bear, and the other animals of the forest whispered to one another, ‘What is this wonderful blue animal the like of whom we have never seen before ?’ and began to run away from his path, saying among themselves, ‘ This is a rare animal never seen by us before. We do not know his nature, proclivities, or strength. So let us run away. It has been said, “A wise man desirous of his own prosperity should not trust a person whose character, family and prowess are not known”.’
Chandarava, seeing them thus overcome with fright, said to them, ‘Oh, animals of the wild, why are you running away in fright on seeing me? Seeing that all of you are without a King, Indra, the king of the Immortals, has sent me to be your King and to protect you well. So it is that I have come here. Hence, remain happily under my protection. I am henceforward your King. My name is Kukudruma’ Hearing this, the lion, the tiger, the elephant, the leopard, the bear, the wolf, the monkey, the deer, the hare and other animals prostrated before him and said, ‘Sire, command us as to what we should do, and we shall do it.’ Then Kukudruma made the lion his minister, the elephant the lord chamberlain, the leopard the royal betel- box bearer, and the monkey the royal umbrella bearer. His own race, the jackals, he treated with contempt and had them all necked out from his presence.
The lion and the other officers of state used to kill animals and lay them at the feet of Kukudruma who would distribute the meat among them all as became a good and considerate king. Kukudruma’s rule went on famously thus for some time. One night, the King had just retired to bed after meals, and the lion, tiger, elephant, leopard and monkey were attending on him. Suddenly, tne silence of the forest was broken by the loud howls of a pack of jackals. Hearing this cry of the race, Kukudruma forgot himself, his hair stood on end with excitement, his eyes filled with tears of joy, and he sprang from bed and uttered the characteristic yell of a jackal m a loud voice. The lion and others, hearing this, said among themselves, ‘ He is a wretched jackal after all’ and hung down their heads with shame for a moment. Soon, anger asserted itself, and they said to one another. This scoundrel of a jackal has made us slave for him. He deserves instant death.’ Hearing this, the jackal tried to run away and escape, but was caught by the tiger, torn to pieces, and killed.