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Cute. This was worth researching. Given Wikipedia's description of the Vedic Abhimanyu the 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' analogy may be pushing it a bit, given his status as the reincarnation of the son of moon-god Chandra. But the Sanjiva-Jataka story ends with an interesting maxim:

Befriend a villain, aid him in his need,

And, like that tiger which Sañjīva raised

To life, he straight devours you for your pains.

Which reads like an early version of the line no good deed goes unpunished :)

There's another Jātaka involving a brahmin and a tiger that teaches pretty much the same lesson: The Tiger, the Brahmin and the Jackal:


From the article:

A brahmin passes a tiger in a trap. The tiger pleads for his release, promising not to eat the brahmin. The brahmin sets him free but no sooner is the tiger out of the cage then he says he is going to eat the brahmin. The brahmin is horrified and tells the tiger how unjust he is. They agree to ask the first three things they encounter to judge between them. The first thing they encounter is a tree, who, having suffered at the hands of humans, answers that the tiger should eat the brahmin. Next a buffalo, exploited and mistreated by humans, agrees it is only just that the brahmin should be eaten. Finally they meet a jackal, who at first feigns incomprehension of what has happened and asks to see the trap. Once there he claims he still doesn't understand. The tiger gets back in the trap to demonstrate and the jackal quickly shuts him in, suggesting to the brahmin that they leave matters thus.

See, the Jackal is the Trickster, innit.

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