The Rabbit of the Valley

Once in a  beautiful valley, a river ran, watering all of the  trees and other plants. Many animals made this valley their home — rabbits, birds, squirrels,  and deer. They all lived happily in the valley, because there were no predators like wolves or lions in sight.

But one day, a wolf climbed down the mountains and entered the valley. Before long, all the animals were being eaten one by one by this vicious wolf, leaving all the animals were worried that next, it would be their turn.

In their worry, the animals turned to the old, wise owl, and tried to find a way to get rid of the wolf. The owl said that the wolf was so fast, vicious and powerful that no one could possibly defeat him and the solution was to find a way to coexist with him instead. The animals protested; saying  that they shouldn’t have to  live in constant fear of being eaten, and so they hatched a desperate plan: it was agreed everyday, one of the animals would be selected by the others, who would go to the wolf and be eaten one by one in a chain-like process. That way, the rest of the animals would rest peacefully, knowing that the wolf had eaten that day and would not be chasing them and be prepared and willing when their time had come.

And the wolf, who was tired of chasing the animals agreed to this plan without hesitation, knowing that it would just mean an easier opportunity for him to obtain food.

On the first morning of this process, all the animals decided that the rabbit (who was the smallest and weakest resident of the valley), was to be fed to the wolf.

The rabbit was scared and  tried to run away, only to realize that he had nowhere to go. He then considered fighting the wolf, but soon realized that the wolf was way more powerful than him.  So he sadly walked over to the wolf’s lair, and once there, cried out “Oh wolf! Oh wolf! Come out of your lair, for I am to be your supper today.”

The wolf immediately came out of its lair, and sniffed the rabbit hungrily. “Why, what a delicious little dinner you will make!” said the wolf, “I can’t believe my luck in finding this valley where the animals sacrifice themselves to me so willingly!”

“It is true, I was brought here by my own four little feet,” the rabbit said, “for I know that I cannot escape my fate, and such a mighty wolf as you, even though you’re not the scariest or most powerful wolf in the valley.”

At this, the vain wolf was shocked. “What do you mean, I’m not the scariest or most powerful wolf in this valley? I am the only wolf here, and there are no other wolves in this valley!” cried the wolf, indignantly.

“Oh, you don’t know about the other wolf,” said the rabbit. “You should go ahead and eat me now, for even if I escape your clutches, no animal could ever hope to escape the other, scarier and more powerful, wolf.” The rabbit then tried to climb into the wolf’s mouth.

The wolf shook him out of his mouth and said, “Take me to this other wolf, and I will spare you for today, my delicious little rabbit. Show me where this other wolf who thinks he’s better than me lives.”

The rabbit sighed and said “Follow me then.”

“We shall see who is bigger and stronger. Lead on!” said the wolf

So the wolf followed the rabbit as they walked three miles, until they reached an old abandoned well.

“There,” pointed the rabbit, “There is the lair of the other wolf, who is stronger and meaner than you. All you have to do is look down into the well, and I am sure you will see him in there!”

At this, the wolf jumped up onto the well wall, and peered down into the darkness.

“I don’t see anything, it is too dark!” said the wolf.

So the wolf bent over, and stuck his head into the well. After a few moments, when his eyes had a chance to adjust to the darkness, the wolf saw his own reflection in the water at the bottom of the well, as if it was another wolf looking back at him.

The rabbit, who had witnessed the wolf arguing with himself in the well, told the wolf, “I don’t think he’s coming out here. Naturally, the bigger and scarier wolf will have to chase after the smaller, less-scary one.”

The wolf ,without hesitation, jumped into the well, chasing after his own reflection in the water. But since the wolf did not know how to swim, he never came out of the old well, and the valley was rid of the evil wolf — thanks to, out of everyone, a small, weak rabbit.