Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

How The Hare Deceived The Tiger
by [?]

At the beginning of the world a hare, tiger, ox, buffalo, and horse became friends and lived together. One day the tiger was out hunting when, it being in the middle of the hot season, the jungle caught fire, and a strong wind blowing, it was not long before the whole country was in flames. The tiger fled, but the fire followed. Never mind how fast he ran, the flames followed him, till he was in great fear of being burned alive. As he was rushing along he saw the ox feeding on the other side of the river and called out to him:

“O friend ox, you see the fire is following me wherever I go. Where is a place of refuge that I can escape the fire?”

Now close to the tiger was a jungle full of dried grass, such as the Shans use for thatching their houses, and the ox replied, “Go to the grass jungle yonder, my brother, and you will be safe.”

But dried grass is the most inflammable thing in the whole hill and water country, and so here, not only did the flames follow the tiger, but they ran ahead of him and threatened to engulf him on every side. In great anger he roared at the ox, “False deceiver, if ever I escape from this danger, I will return and kill you,” but the ox only laughed at him and continued eating.

In desperation, the tiger leaped over the flames and found himself near the horse. “O friend horse,” he cried, “where can I go? I am in great danger of being burned to death.”

Now it happened that once the tiger had been very rude to the horse and called him many bad names, so now he thought this was a good opportunity to be revenged; so he said: “Yonder is a big bamboo jungle, run to that and you are safe”; but the tiger found that the horse was also a false friend, for the fire following him speedily ignited the tall bamboos which burned fiercely and falling from above, almost completely covered the poor beast.

At the beginning of the world the tiger was a beautiful yellow color, but the bamboos falling all over him, burnt him in stripes, and since that time his descendants have had long black stripes all over their coats.

“When I have escaped from this,” yelled the angry tiger, “I will come back and kill you.”

“Very good,” sneered the horse, “and I will arch my neck so that you can get a good bite,” but this was said to deceive the tiger, as the horse intended to lash out with his hind feet when the tiger came to fight him. Nevertheless, from that day the necks of all horses have been arched, and they cannot fight an enemy in front, but are obliged to arch their necks, lower their heads, and kick from behind.

The tiger, by this time tired to death and suffering from the burns of the bamboos, saw the buffalo and accosted him as he had his other friends.

“O good friend buffalo,” he cried, “I am in great danger of being burned alive. The horse and the ox have not only deceived me, but in following their advice I have arrived at a worse condition than before. What can I do to be freed from this great danger?”

The buffalo looked up from the cool river where he was enjoying a bath, and taking compassion on him said: “If you will catch hold of my throat I will duck you in the river and so you shall escape from the danger that is following you.”

So the tiger seized the good buffalo by the throat and was held under water till the fire had burnt itself out. The tiger was very grateful to the buffalo and made an agreement with him that from that time no tiger should ever kill a buffalo, and it is only the very worst tigers, those that kill men, that ever kill a buffalo, and the tigers that are guilty of killing buffaloes are sure to be killed themselves, sooner or later.