Masnavi 14

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STORY III. The Jackal who pretended to be a Peacock.
A jackal fell into a dye-pit, and his skin was dyed of various colors. Proud of
his splendid appearance, he returned to his companions, and desired them to
address him as a peacock. But they proceeded to test his pretensions, saying,
"Dost thou scream like a peacock, or strut about gardens as peacocks are
wont to do?" And he was forced to admit that he did not, whereupon they
rejected his pretensions. Another story, also on the subject of false
pretenders, follows. A proud man who lacked food procured a skin full of fat,
greased his beard and lips with it, and called on his friends to observe how
luxuriously he had dined. But his belly was vexed at this, because it was
hungry, and he was destroying his chance of being invited to dinner by his
friends. So the belly cried to God, and a cat came and carried off the skin of
fat, and so the man's false pretences were exposed. The poet takes occasion to
point out that Pharaoh's pretensions to divinity exactly resembled the
pretensions of this jackal, and adds that all such false pretenders may be
detected by the mark noted in the Koran, "Ye shall know them by the
strangeness of their speech." 1 This recalls the story of Harut
and Marut, two angels who were very severe on the frailties of mankind, and
whom God sent down upon the earth to be tempted, with the result that they both
succumbed to the charms of the daughters of men. 2