Jataka Tales – A Foolish Rabbit
Bunny in a hurry.
One summer afternoon a rabbit was resting in the shade of a coconut tree. He had eaten a rather large bunch of fresh carrots.
As he lay snoring in his sleep the rabbit had a strange dream.
He dreamt that the world was breaking into pieces.
Suddenly there was a sharp sound as a dry coconut from the tree fell with a loud thud right next to where the rabbit lay asleep dreaming.
The rabbit got up with a startled yelp. Thinking that the sound he heard was really that of the world breaking up, he hurried away, screaming at the top of his voice that the world is coming to an end.
Soon the others joined and there were many animals all running blindly together shouting with meaningless fear that the world was coming to an end. There were rabbits, deer, boars, bison, jackals, bears, and even elephants in the huge crowd.
At last, the crowd of animals reached the middle of the forest where the king of the forest, the lion, lived in his den.
The lion had just had a good meal and was just dropping to sleep when the noise of so many animals running and screaming at the top of their voices disturbed him. He came out of his cave and roared mightily.
Lion: Why are you all shouting like this? Have you all gone mad?
Your majesty, the world is coming to an end. And that’s the reason why all of us are running.
(lion roared again)
Lion: What nonsense! Who told you?
The elephant pointed to the bear. At last, the deer pointed to the little rabbit who stood there shivering in fear before the lion.
The lion asked the frightened rabbit
Lion: So what made you think that the world was coming to an end?
Rabbit: While I was sleeping under the coconut tree, I dreamt that the world was breaking up. Then I woke up hearing a loud crashing sound.
The lion could now see things clearly. He took all the animals to the spot where the rabbit had slept.
Lion: This silly little animal heard the noise of a falling coconut and panicked. He started a rumor, and you all believed him. At least from now, you should all decide never to believe in rumors.
All the animals were ashamed of themselves and decided that from then on, they would never believe anything blindly.
So children, What happened in this case? Everybody was ashamed of themselves. They blindly believed in the rumor that was started by a small rabbit in his dreams. So what is the moral of the story?
What you hear is not always the truth. You have to enquire in detail and learn what the truth is, and then start believing it.