The Jackal, the Fox and the Rabbit
Narrated by Abebe Kebede
Once upon a time the jackal, the fox and the rabbit used to live together. They were great friends and they formed a good trio. But obviously, because the jackal and the fox were carnivores, and the rabbit was a herbivore, they were different essentially in nature. So the jackal and the fox tended to get along better, but they liked the rabbit nevertheless because he was so fast and quick in doing everything.
But as time went on, the more the fox and the jackal saw the rabbit, the more they wanted to eat him. They thought he was supple and succulent and they discussed this.
And they said, “Look, we could tear him apart. You grab one of his legs and I’ll grab the other legs and we’ll just rip him apart and eat him. He’s so small, he wouldn’t make us a good lunch, but he could make a snack or breakfast or something.”
So they decided to eat the rabbit when he came back.
However the rabbit was very smart, and when he came back he was suspicious of the jackal grinding his teeth, so he kept his distance from them, and he said, “What's wrong with you all?”
And they said, “Nothing, nothing, everything’s all right.”
So the rabbit started keeping his distance so they couldn’t catch him.
Now the fox and the jackal were a bit angry about this, so they said, “Since now he doesn’t come close to us like before, we’ve got to decide how to trick him.”
So they discussed this for some time and they came up with a plan. They said the jackal should go over to his house and lie down as if he was terribly sick, and the fox would send the rabbit over to visit. Then when the rabbit came to visit him, the jackal could easily catch him.
So, as he was told, the jackal went to his house, closed his eyes, and kept his mouth closed, and kept on peeking out from one of his eyes to see when the rabbit had come.
The fox on the other hand, went and waited for the rabbit to come to the field, and said, “Hey there Rabbit, have you heard the news?”
“No, what happened?” the rabbit asked.
“Well, our friend the jackal is seriously sick. In fact I think he’s going to die. I think you’d better go and visit him very soon, otherwise you’ll have regrets of not having visited him before he died, so I think it’s a good idea that you go, and you check and visit him before he passes away.”
“Oh, that’s a good idea.” said the rabbit suspiciously, and she set off on her path to the jackal’s house.
Now the jackal was peeping out through his eyes and his eyelids were quivering. So the rabbit came not very near, and she propped up her ears and she couldn’t hear anything. So she looked and she could see that the jackal was peeping through one eye and his lips were tightly closed.
Now the rabbit didn’t know how to get away, so she thought a bit and she said, “Oh my God, this jackal doesn’t look dead at all. When jackals die they keep their eyes shut fast and they open their mouth.”
So on hearing this, the jackal tightly shut his eyes, and gently opened his mouth. Now, because his eyes were closed, the rabbit ran away, without him seeing. So after a few minutes, the fox decided that the jackal must have killed the rabbit by now, and he decided to go over to share the meal. But when he went over, the jackal was all alone and angry, banging himself against his bed, and when the fox asked, “What’s wrong?” he said, “The rabbit ran away.”
Ever since that day the friendship of the three was no longer, and the jackal and the fox run after the rabbit and try to catch him and kill him whenever they can.
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