(Narrator: Mr Tan Xingai)

The Rabbits and the lion

         Once upon a time, it was during autumn and it was clean and fine in the fields. The leaves were falling down.  There were two rabbits in the wide stretch of green pastureland. They were grazing slowly. They were almost full when suddenly they heard a formidable roar: there was a lion running down from top of the hill.
         The lion had seen the rabbits from the tall hill and they made his mouth water. He wanted to eat them. He opened his big mouth and showed the long teeth. He was gazing at the rabbits and wanted to eat them up with one bite.
         When he got to half of the hillside, the rabbits started to run away after eating their fill of the green grass. Then the lion dashed to the hill foot. The rabbits were shivering with fear. Knowing that they couldn’t escape, they thought ‘How do we fool him and ask him not to eat us so that we can run away?’
         The rabbits thought ‘We just say you are very handsome in this beautiful mane. What animal do you want to eat? Your erected mane is beautiful. We saw a lion like you before, but he seemed to be more amiable. He did not eat us.’ Then they said ‘There is a bad lion who likes to eat animals.’
         ‘If I had known this I would have eaten him up!’ said the lion, ‘Is there a lion like me? I don’t believe. Take me there and I am going to eat him up!’
         The rabbit said ‘he is over there. He is bigger than you, and longer. He has a Rabbits_Lion.gif 兔和狮图像hairy tail. He has gone downtown for a walk. You will be frightened if you see him.’
         The lion said ‘What on earth are you talking about? I am the most stubborn. No human beings or animals can defeat me. If you don’t believe me just take me there.’
         The rabbits became afraid, ‘So we take him there? Then we walk in front and he eats us from behind with one bite?’
         Then the rabbits said, ‘After you. We will walk behind you. You just walk along this footpath.’
         The rabbits followed him slowly. The lion was walking in front. He was staring in front of him and turned back every now and then to see if they were following him. He saw that the rabbits were walking close behind him. He kept going ahead. They arrived at the riverbank. The water was flowing continually down there. They then saw a big rock on the riverside.
         The lion said, ‘You said we should come to the rock, didn’t you?’
         ‘Yes. This is the place I said.’ said the rabbit, ‘I did mention this rock. You may go on top of the rock and look around to see if there is a lion just like you. Look to your left and then look to your right to see if there is a lion like you.’
         The lion said, ‘You are fooling me. It is clear and fine under the sunshine and I can see everything clearly. There is no one here, no one on the right or on the left.’
         So the lion became angry. He became furious, ‘You rabbits wanted to fool me. Let me eat you up!’
         The rabbits said, ‘Please take you time. We will let you eat us. But you may not be able to eat us because that lion is bigger than you. Now he is there as we can see now.’
         The lion asked, ‘Where is he now?’
         ‘Do you dare to look down?’
         The lion looked down. He saw a lion in the water. He looked into the water. Well, really, there is a lion down there just like me.’
         The rabbits said, ‘Well, you like to eat animals, don’t you? But that lion doesn’t. He will call you names.’
         The lion said, ‘What on earth are you talking about!’ He jumped into the water to eat that lion. Well, after he jumped into the water he began to sink. He could not swim. The two rabbits on the riverbank began to jump very happily. And then they started to graze again. The lion is finished.
         And this is the end of the story.


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