One day a man was out hunting birds in the forest when he came upon a tiger. The tiger was about to pounce upon him when the man proposed that they should not hurt each other but become friends. The tiger liked the idea and said: “All right, but you must kill my enemy the porcupine.”
“Agreed,” said the man, “Where is it?”
“It lives in a hole,” said the tiger, “I’ll show you where it is.”
The tiger led the man to the porcupine’s hole. He waited until the porcupine came out. Then, he shot it dead with his gun. But the tiger didn’t want anyone to know that a man had helped in getting rid of its enemy. So, it said to the hunter, “Please don’t tell anybody that it was you who killed the porcupine.”
“That is fine with me,” said the hunter. And he took the porcupine home and his wife cooked it for supper.
The next morning the hunter’s wife went to fetch water. As she walked she picked her teeth with a splinter of bamboo. At the spring, she met two of her neighbours and they asked her what she had eaten.
“Oh, my husband brought home a porcupine,” she said.
So, the woman talked about the porcupine until everyone in the village knew about it. Before long the tiger itself heard the story and when the hunter went to the forest again, it was waiting, furious and wanting to kill the man for spreading the report of the porcupine’s death.
“But I have said nothing,” protested the hunter.
“I don’t care whether you did or not, but I am going to kill you for it,’ said the tiger.
The man was now really frightened and the tiger saw him tremble.
“Why do you tremble?” asked the tiger.
“I am afraid,” said the hunter, “the porcupine I ate the other day is trying to come out of my body.”
“What?” said the tiger, “But wait…”
“But it is coming,” said the hunter.
In a moment the tiger was gone.