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The Bear and the Hare


Once upon a time Hare and Bear lived in a deserted place. Hare was very scared of old Bear, and fearing that one day Bear would eat him, he thought it would be better if he could find a way to drive Bear away to another place.

One day Hare attached a paper flag to the head of a stalk of broom grass and went. On the road he met Bear and was really scared. But no matter how scared he was in his heart, he did not show it, and asked, “Hey! Big Belly Short Tail. Where are you going?”

Bear saw it was Hare and asked back, “Well, Stub-tail, where are you running?”

Hare, putting on airs, bragged, “According to the emperor’s command, I have to look for 108 bear skins. I’m still one short, so I’m going to look for it.”

Again he said to old Bear, “Hey! If I look at it, you—Big Belly Short Tail, you aimlessly wander around a lot, and I, Stub-tail, am really ferocious.  If we fought one day, the dust from our fighting would fill this valley.”

Friends, if you look at this, even though you may be afraid like this, depending on how arrogant you are, you can make others fear you. Hare was not only intelligent, but does it not best exemplify such ‘intelligence’ in social life?

—'Brug bha, Qinghai Folk Literature 1, 1987

Folk Story Amdo
The Bear and the Hare
Collection Tibetan Children's Stories
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Author 'Brug bha
Translator Larry Epstein
Original year published 1987
UID shanti-texts-50121
Creative Commons Licence