Jataka Tales – The Foolish Rabbit
Believing rumours is always a risky decision. This story about a rabbit is a perfect example of that!
Once upon a time, there was a rabbit sleeping under a coconut tree. He had eaten a lot of fresh carrots for lunch and was now sleeping deeply. Soon he had a strange dream. There were huge crashing and breaking sounds and the entire earth cracked up in front of him. The earth split in two and drifted away in space. The rabbit woke up sweating with a worried look and was distressed beyond words. He at once recalled the nightmare he had and panicked at once as he remembered that the earth had cracked up.
The rabbit ran through the forest and shouted to all the animals that the earth was breaking. All the animals from birds and squirrels to dogs and elephants began to run with him to find shelter. The entire forest trembled due to the combined force of the running animals. As they were running, they passed by the lion’s cave. The lion was the king of the forest and he was known to be a wise king. He came out of his cave and saw the frenzy outside. He roared and commanded all the animals to halt their madness. The animals then informed the lion about what was going on.
The lion now wanted to know as to who had spread this news first. Each animal pointed their paw or claw to another animal and after a long exhausting queue of toe pointing, the blame rested upon the rabbit. The rabbit then stammered and told the lion about his dream. The lion at once commanded all the animals to follow him to the place where the rabbit rested. After all of them reached the spot with the coconut tree, the lion asked all the animals to wait in silence. After a few seconds, a coconut fell down from the tree. After another few seconds, another coconut fell down from the tree.
The lion then explained to them that the crashing and breaking sounds which the rabbit had heard in his dream was nothing but the coconuts falling from the tree. All the animals were ashamed of themselves for not even questioning what the rabbit said. The lion then told all of them that believing rumours blindly was not a good thing and that one must always verify things.
Moral – One should not believe rumours blindly. One must always think and verify everything before believing rumours.