"This well a forest-anchorite,"--This story the Master told whilst dwelling at Isipatana, about a Jackal that fouled a well.
They learn that a Jackal used to foul a well where the Brethren used to draw water, and then used to make off. One clay the novices pelted him with clods of earth, and made it uncomfortable for him. After that he never came to look at the place again.
The Brethren heard of this and began to discuss it in the Hall of Truth. "Friend, the jackal that used to foul our well has never come near it since the novices chased him away with clods!" The Master came in, and asked what they were talking about now as they sat together. They told him. Then he replied, "Brethren, this is not the first time that this jackal fouled a well. He did the sane before;" and then he told an old-world tale.
"Once on a time, in this place near Benares called Isipatana was that very well. At that time the Bodhisattva was born of a good family. When he grew up he embraced the religious life, and with a body of followers dwelt at Isipatana. A certain Jackal fouled the well as has been described, and took to his heels. One day, the ascetics surrounded him, and having caught him somehow, they led him before the Bodhisattva. He addressed the Jackal in the lines of the first stanza:--
"'This well a forest-anchorite has made
"On hearing this, the Jackal repeated the second stanza:--
"'This is the law of all the Jackal race,
"Then the Bodhisattva replied with the third:
"'If this is "law" in jackal polity
"Thus the Great Being admonished him, and said, 'Do not go there again.' Thenceforward he did not even pause to look at it."
When the Master had ended this discourse he declared the Truths and identified the Birth:--"The Jackal that fouled the well is the same in both cases; and I was the chief of the ascetic band."