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Two Rabbits and a Bear

Published July 1, 2009
Countries: Tibet
Age Levels: 8 and up

Two rabbits were hopping through the forest.  One said to the other, "I am glad we are such good friends.  We always travel together.  We share the same food.  We should promise to help each other if any beast ever tries to hurt either of us."

"I will help you if you help me," said the second rabbit.

Just then the two rabbits heard a loud noise.  It was a large bear.  The first rabbit ran into a thicket of thorn bushes where the bear could not get at it.  The second rabbit was too fat and too slow to get get into the thorn bushes.  So the rabbit fell to the ground and pretended to be dead. 

The first rabbit suddenly changed his mind about his promise to help his friend and stayed inside the safety of the thorn bushes.  He watched as the bear walked up to his fatter rabbit friend.  The bear shook the rabbit with a paw.  Then he lowered his head.  The bear sniffed the rabbit's ears. Then he turned and walked off.

When the bear was gone. the first rabbit came out of hiding and ran up to his friend.  He was surprised when his fat companion sat up and looked him in the eyes.  "That bear looked like he was talking to you when he put his mouth next to your ears," said the first rabbit.  "What did he say?"

The second rabbit said, "The bear told me, 'Don't trust your friend.  He ran away when you needed him the most.'"