The Foolish Hare
One day a little foolish hare was sitting under a fruit tree, and was deeply immersed in his own thoughts. As a matter of habit he mostly took quick decisions without giving a second thought. One day he got a brainwave. “What’ll happen to me when the earth comes to an end?” At that very moment a fruit fell from the tree. Off ran the foolish hare as fast as his legs could carry him. He thought that the noise of the fruit falling on the ground was that of the earth breaking to pieces. He ran and ran, not daring to look behind.
“Brother, Brother,” called another little hare that saw him running, “please tell me what has happened!”
But the little hare ran on and on and did not turn to answer. So, the other hare ran after him calling louder and louder, “What has happened, little brother, what has happened?”
Unable to withstand the repeated call of the fellow hare, the little hare stopped for a moment and said, “The earth is breaking into pieces!” Upon hearing this the other hare started running even faster, and then a third hare joined them and then a fourth and a fifth till a hundred thousand hare started racing through the fields. And they raced through the forest and valleys. Upon hearing that the earth was coming to an end even the deer, the boars, the elks, the buffaloes, the oxen, the rhinos, the tigers, the lions and the elephants, all ran wildly with them.
But among them lived a lion that was very wise. He knew everything that happened in the world. He came to know that so many hundreds and thousands of animals were running away because they believed that the earth was breaking into pieces. He thought, “This earth of ours is far from coming to an end. But these poor creatures will die if I don’t save them. In their fright they might just run blindly and drown in the sea.”
So, he ran at such a pace that he reached a certain mountain which lay in their path. As they passed by the mountain he roared three times, so loudly that they stopped. All stood still, close to each other, trembling.
The great lion descended from the mountain and approached them. “Why are you running at such a pace?” he asked.
“The earth is breaking to pieces”, they replied.
“Who saw it breaking to pieces?” he asked.
“The elephants”, they replied.
“Did you see it breaking?” he asked the elephants.
“No. we did not see it. The lions saw it,” they replied.
“Did you see it?” he asked the lions.
“No. the tigers saw it”, they replied.
Then the lion asked the tigers, “Did you see it?”
“The rhinos saw it”, they replied.
But the rhinos said, “The elks saw it.”
The elks said, “The bears saw it.”
The bears said, “The oxen saw it.”
The oxen said. “The deer saw it.”
The deer said. “The hares saw it.”
And the hares said, “That little one told us that the earth was breaking.”
“Did you see the earth breaking?” He asked the little hare.
“Yes lord,” replied the hare. “I saw it breaking.” “Where were you when you saw it breaking?” He asked.
With a trembling voice the little hare replied, “I was sitting beneath a fruit tree and thought, “What will happen to me when the earth comes to an end?” And at that very moment I heard the noise of the earth breaking so I ran.”
The wise lion thought for a moment. He was sitting under a fruit tree. Certainly the noise he heard was that of a fruit falling on the ground. “Ride on my back, little one,” he said, “and show me where you saw the earth break.”
The little hare jumped on his back and the great lion flew to the place. But as they approached the fruit tree, the little hare jumped off. So frightened was he to return to the spot. And he pointed out the tree to the lion, saying, “Lord, there is the tree.”
The great lion went to the tree and saw the spot where the little hare had been sitting and the fruit which had fallen from the tree. “Come here little one”, he called.
“Now where do you see the earth broken?
Little hare looked around. He saw the fruit on the ground. Now he knew there was no reason for his fright. He jumped once again on the lion’s back and away they went to the hundreds of creatures who were awaiting their return.
The lion then told the great multitude that the noise the little hare had heard was of a fruit falling to the ground. And so all turned back, the elephants to the valleys, the lions to the caves, the deer to the river banks and the little hare to the fruit tree. The little hare was foolish and had brought trouble to all animals.
MORAL: Beware of rumours … especially whattsapp rumours. And being foolish is dangerous for oneself as well as others.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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