Mister Jackal pretended that was a smart thief. And, like all vain persons, he was proud of his smartness.
“You know, I would have committed more than fifty thefts. But not even once police have been able to catch me. I never leave a clue. Police officers keep searching for clues to nab me but they have never succeeded. And they never will,” he said to friends, who like him were petty thieves. Mister Jackal always posed that he was a big time criminal
“Did you ever rob a bank?” asked Mister Hyena. He had a sniggering smile on his face for he knew the truth. Mister Jackal and Mister Hyena had been, for some time, partners-in-crime. Mister Hyena knew that Mister Jackal was just a petty criminal who would only snatch things from silly boys and little girls.
“Well, I have never robbed a bank. But my next target is the Piggy’s Bank. If you hear about a great bank robbery think of me,” Mister Jackal said with a twinkle in his eyes.
Everyone except Mister Hyena looked at him with envy. No one had ever dared to rob a bank. And they all had dreamed of robbing a bank. Mister Hyena knew that Mister Jackal could never rob a bank.
Few days later Mister Jackal sneaked into Piggy’s Bank. He had covered his face with a black mask. He was holding a pistol in one hand and a butcher’s knife in other. He thought that he was looking fearsome.
There were only two employees in the bank. He pointed his pistol towards one employee and said, “Will you please hand over the keys of the bank safe? I intend to rob the bank.”
Now, the bank employees were timid fellows who had never seen a bank robber. They were scared of even petty pickpockets. A bank robber holding a pistol and a butcher’s knife terrified them. One employee immediately took out a key from his table drawer and gave it Mister Jackal.
“This … is … one… of… the… two… keys. But you… can’t… open… the... safe... You... need... other ... key,” the employee was so scared that he could only stammer these words.
“Give me the other key; don’t waste my time,” Mister Jackal first snatched the key from the employee and then shouted at him.
“We don’t have the second key. It is with our Manager. He has not come today. He is sick,” said other bank employee.
Mister Jackal was bewildered. He knew that if failed to rob the bank he would lose his face and all his friends would make fun of him. He was desperate to rob the bank.
“What is the phone number of your Manager? He will have to come here with the key, right now,” he said to the bank employees.
The employees looked at each other. Both of them were trembling in fear. One of them gave him the phone number. Mister Jackal asked one of the employees to hold the butcher’s knife. He took out his mobile phone and spoke to the bank manager.
“Is it Mister Bank Manager speaking? I am a bank robber. Please listen to me very carefully. If you do not come to the bank within fifteen minutes I will kill one of your employees. And don’t forget to bring second key of the safe or you would lose one employee.”
“Please don’t harm my employees. I am very sick. I am down with high grade fever. I can’t come. But I will surely try to come in a day or two.”
“You think I am a fool. If you are down with high grade fever then you won’t be able to leave your bed for five or six days. Last year I too was down with high grade fever and I was bed-ridden for ten days. Have you consulted a doctor?”
“Yes, I had consulted Doctor Tinybrain.”
“He is a hopeless doctor. You should consult Doctor Sharpbrain.”
“But Doctor Tinybrain is our family doctor…”
“Do what I say.”
“If you insist then I will consult Doctor Sharpbrain. But please don’t harm my employees. I will let you know when I come to the bank.”
“I am not a hard-hearted person. Why would I harm anyone for no rhyme or reason? You can call me when you come to the bank. I will leave my phone number with your employees. But if you fail to do so your loyal employees will forfeit their lives. Get well soon.”
Mister Jackal left the bank. Bank employees immediately called the manager who suggested that the police should be informed about the incident. Police was promptly informed.
Inspector Hardnose was tough police officer who believed that every criminal must be caught red-handed. He decided to lay a trap to catch the bank robber.
One week later, Mister Jackal received a phone call from the bank manager.
“Sir, I am the bank manager. I am in the bank. I have the keys of the safe. If you want to rob the bank you can come as soon as possible.”
“Do you have sufficient cash in the safe?”
“We have about five million.”
“That’s great. I would be there in fifteen minutes.”
Fifteen minutes later Mister Jackal was hiding behind a school bus parked near the bank. He looked carefully in all directions. He could not see any police around the bank. There were no customers in the bank. He quietly sneaked into the bank. He was wearing a black mask and holding a pistol in one hand.
The manager was waiting for him.
“Good day Sir, I hope I have not disappointed you. Please do not harm my employees,” the manager greeted him with a smile and gave him the keys of the safe.
“Now, will you all please go into the bathroom,” Mister Jackal said and pointed towards the bathroom.
Manager and the two employees promptly went into the bathroom. Mister Jackal locked the bathroom door. He then opened the safe with the keys that manager had given to him. Safe was full of currency notes.
“This manger is a sensible person. And he is a man of his word too. I must reward him,” Mister Jackal said to himself.
He quickly filled his bag with the cash. All the time he was smiling at his smartness.
“What would my friends think if any of them were here? They would be jealous of me. Now they will all have to respect me and fear me. They …”
Someone tapped on his shoulder with a stick. He turned around and was shocked to see a police officer. He noticed that the police officer was holding only a stick. He decided to shoot the officer.
“You want to shoot me. Go ahead,” said the officer who had read his mind.
Mister Jackal just kept looking at the officer like a fool. The officer laughed and said, “But you can’t, can you? You left your pistol on the manager’s desk.”
Mister Jackal had already realized that he had foolishly left his pistol on the manager’s desk. He could see the pistol but it was beyond his reach. He knew the game was over for him.
The officer arrested him and said, “Did you think that the bank manager would just invite you to rob the bank without telling anything to police? How could you be so stupid? It was my plan to trap you red-handed and you fell for the trap.”
Mister Jackal was sent to the prison and he became a laughing stock of all criminals of the town. Everyone started calling him Mister Jackass. It hurt the poor fellow more than the prison sentence.
© i b arora