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Trapping Rabbits in Taiwan

Published June 15, 2014
Countries: None
Age Levels: 8 and up

A long time ago a simple farmer lived along the coast of Taiwan.  He woke early every morning to work in the rice fields.  He worked hard all day until the sun set at night.

"It is so hard to work in these muddy wet fields," he said one day.  "I wish God would help me find other work to do.  Then I would not have to work in the rice fields again."

Just as he said that, his foot hit a sleeping rabbit.  The rabbit woke up and was scared.  It ran away so fast that it ran into a tree and killed itself.

The farmer said, "Thank you, God.  You answered my prayer right away.  I will catch rabbits to make my living.  I will not work in the rice fields again."  He skinned the rabbit, cooked it for his supper and ate it.

The next day, he walked outside and sat under a tree.  "What are you doing?" asked a neighbor?

"I am sitting here waiting for a rabbit to run into the tree and kill itself.  Then I will eat it for dinner," he said.  He told his neighbor the story about what had happened.  "I think God wants me to hunt rabbits for a living instead of working in the wet, hot fields.

All of the man's friends laughed and laughed at what he said.  "You will never catch a rabbit that way again," they said.  "Go back to work in the fields.  No rabbits will ever run into a tree and kill themselves for your dinner."  They laughed as they walked away.

Day after day, the neighbors laughed.  They said he was simple minded or not very smart.

The farmer somehow knew they were right about rabbits.  No rabbit would ever run and knock its brains out on a tree again to become his dinner.  He began to use his own brain to think.  "The rabbits will not run into a tree by themselves.  Maybe I can make them come to the tree where I can catch them."

He remembered hearing that rabbits liked carrots.  So, he sat under the tree all day holding a carrot and calling for the rabbits to come.  That did not work.  It did make his neighbors happy.  They had something else to laugh about!

"Rabbits are afraid to come and eat the carrot from your hands," they laughed.

"My friends are right.  I will put the carrot on the ground and sit in the tree.  The rabbits will come to eat the carrot.  Then, I can catch them.  This is what he did.

The next morning the man put a carrot on the ground and climbed the tree.  A rabbit showed up almost right away.  It grabbed the carrot and ran away before the man could try to catch it.  He tried this over and over.  But, he was never fast enough to catch the rabbits.

The neighbors laughed again.  You will never be fast enough to climb down and catch a rabbit."

"My friends are right," he told himself.  "Maybe I can put the carrot into a box.  When the rabbit comes to eat it, I can drop the lid on the box and catch the rabbit."

The next day he put a juicy carrot in a box.  He tied the lid up with a string.   He climbed into the tree and waited.  When a rabbit went into the box to get the carrot the man pulled the string.  The lid dropped closed.  The man caught the rabbit.  Then he caught another and another.

The man was putting the rabbits into a cage to carry them home just as his friends were walking home from their fields.  They saw the fat rabbits.  This time, they did not laugh at their friend.

Instead they all congratulated him.  Maybe he could do something else to make a living besides grow rice.  They were even more happy when the farmer decided to divide the rabbit with them.  They would bring cooked rice.  He would bring rabbits to eat.  "God gave me the idea of hunting rabbits to make a living.  Your laughter made me use my head and think of the best way to do it.

This is how the first rabbit trap was made in Taiwan. 

Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs.