Painting by Laura Blaker

How about rabbit tales this month? With Easter on the 16th it seems like a good theme.

An old man and his wife lived in a little house made of straw. They were very poor and all they owned were a rabbit and a young jaguar. When the old couple used up their last ear of corn, they decided to eat the rabbit and started heating water to cook him. When he saw that, the jaguar told the rabbit the couple were going to eat it.

The rabbit replied that no, they were heating water to make hot chocolate. The jaguar disagreed at first, but eventually the rabbit convinced the jaguar to get into the rabbit’s cage and people would give him the first hot chocolate. Of course, when the jaguar went into the cage, the rabbit closed it and ran off. The rabbit is a trickster after all.

A long time went by and the jaguar tired of waiting for the old people to bring him his chocolate. When he realized that the rabbit had tricked him, he broke the cage and went after him. After walking and walking, he found the rabbit in a cave. He was very angry and he showed his teeth as he said, “I caught you, rabbit! I’m going to eat you.”

The rabbit of course said that he must have him confused with another. This rabbit insisted that he had lived in the cave for a long time. What’s more, he was very busy as his house was falling down. The jaguar apparently believed him and agree to lean against the wall to hold it until rabbit got a log to prop it up with.

The jaguar stood on his hind legs and held up the wall for a long time, but eventually the jaguar was tired. When he saw that the wall didn’t fall down, he realized that he had been tricked again. He took off after the deceitful rabbit, even angrier than before. This time he found him hanging from an elastic vine that made him go up and down. The rabbit was so happy thinking of how he had fooled the jaguar that he didn’t notice when the latter took a great leap, pulled on the vine with all his strength and then suddenly let go. The rabbit went up and up through the air holding his belly and laughing, and finally he reached the moon. That is why on nights when the moon is full and red you can still see the rabbit bending over holding his stomach with laughter.

I’m a little sad for the rabbit. I tend to like tricksters who manage to get the better of their stronger foes.

This is the first time I’ve read this tale. Next time we have a nice, full red moon, I’ll have to see if I can see the rabbit.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.