1 THE FIRST SHEEP DOG
Once upon a time there lived a jackal. He was cleverer than other jackals but alas he was not as wicked and for this the other jackals despised him. T’was that one day he could bear their laughter at him no longer so he went forth into the world to find a purpose. He travelled far and wide across the lands until he came to man. Jackal soon realized, something that other jackals had not, men were indeed at the top of the food chain thus he went to their door steps and begged for food scraps. He was turned away time and time again until one day he came to a shepherd’s door. He was so hungry and so tired that he lay down on the steps, curled up and slept. The next day the shepherd’s daughter came out and seeing the sleeping jackal she pitied him and lifted him in her arms and gave him food and water. When the shepherd returned that evening he said, ‘alas we cannot keep a jackal!’ but his daughter wept so much that he spoke thus to the jackal ‘if thou can do duties to earn thy dinner, and if thou can also but provide thyself fur so as thou shall never need a blanket then thou will have earned a place under my roof, but if thou cannot fulfil both requests before I return tomorrow then thou shall have to return to the streets where thou shall starve.’ The next day the shepherd left to get supplies leaving his daughter to tend the ewes and lambs. Now the jackal very much wished to stay with the shepherd and his daughter so leaving the shepherds daughter by a tree he ventured into the forest to find himself a coat that may keep him warm. Being a cunning creature he made a wolf trap. It was not long before a wolf fell into the trap and was killed. Jackal emerged from the bushes he had hidden in and skinned the wolf. He then got the thick black and white fur and placed it upon himself. Now he only had to prove himself worth his dinner. As he wondered back to the shepherd’s daughter he pondered upon how he could earn his keep. When he came to the tree where the maiden had watched the sheep he found that she had drifted asleep and all the sheep had had wondered away. Now jackal thought quickly and leaving the maiden sleeping he ran as fast as his legs could take him. He then, unaided, brought the sheep back to the field. The shepherd soon returned from his journey and saw his sleeping daughter thus he knew his sheep would be gone had it not been for the jackal and the jackal wore his own fine cloak. So the shepherd exclaimed, thou hast proven thyself worthy of keep so if thou workest for me as you have done today then forever I shall share my roof and food with you.’ So they called the jackal collie and he became the first sheep dog. Thus from that day forth all sheep dogs are as cunning as jackals with the fur of a wolf.