The jackal has a bad reputation in the animal world. Devious, selfish, dishonest and boastful, his aspirations are high but his talents few. He seldom repays a favor. Should such a creature be tolerated? Only so long as he uses his cunning for the good of the community, says the wisdom of these Jataka tales which were written as early as the period between 3rd century BC and 5th century AD.