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Short Stories for Children: Fighting Leads to LossesFighting Leads to Losses


A tale from India


A jackal who was newly married lived near a river bank.

One day, his bride asked him for a meal of fish. He promised to bring some, even though he did not know how to swim.

He crept up quietly to the river and watched two otters who were struggling with a huge fish they had caught. After killing the fish, the two began to fight about how to divide it.

“I saw it first, so I should have the largest portion!” said one.

“But I saved you when you almost drowned while catching the fish,” argued the other.

They continued to fight until the jackal walked up to them and offered to settle the argument.

The otters agreed to abide by his decision.

He cut the fish in three pieces. To one otter he gave the head, and to the other, the tail.

“The middle,” he said, “goes to the judge.”

He walked away happily, saying, “Fighting always leads to losses.”

Margaret Read MacDonald
Peace Tales
Arkansas, August House Publishers, Inc., 2005

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