The Clever Rabbit

THE Fox made several attempts to catch the Rabbit and eat him. But the Rabbit was always too cautious and too clever for him.

One day the Fox made a tar doll, coloured it cleverly and put the doll by the side of the path along which the Rabbit took his walk.

As usual, the Rabbit came along the path, saw the doll and stopped. Then he asked the doll, “Well, who are you?” The Rabbit repeated the question several times, but the doll did not reply. The Rabbit got wild and hit the doll with his paw, which got stuck.

“Leave my hand, or I’ll slap you again,” said the Rabbit, hitting the doll with his other hand. Thus the poor Rabbit got stuck to the doll. In his efforts to free his hands, he got his legs into the tar.

Soon he heard Fox’s laughter and guessed that he was in danger.

“How do you do, brother?” said the Fox. “There’s very little chance of your escaping this time,”

“No, brother,” said the Rabbit. “I am not thinking of escaping you this time. Burn me in a fire and eat me if you want. But, please, please, do not fling me into the briar bushes.”

“I’ve no fire at hand,” said the Fox.

“Then cut me into bits with a knife,” said the Rabbit.” But, for pity’s sake, don’t throw me into the briar bushes; I cannot bear the torture.”

“Is that so?” said the Fox. He had a grudge against the Rabbit for all the trouble he had caused him in the past. “Into the briar bushes, you go!”

So saying, the Fox disentangled the Rabbit from the tar doll and flung him into the briar bushes nearby. Then the Fox sat waiting to hear the groans of the suffering Rabbit.

But there were no groans. After some time, there was a shout from a distance, “Thank you, brother Fox! Thank you! You know, I was born and brought up in the briar bushes. Good-bye!” And the Rabbit ran away, leaving the Fox sour and foolish.

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