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Four Children's Stories


Hare Defeats Tiger

Once upon a time, Hare and Tiger became blood brothers. But shameless, conceited Tiger always annoyed and injured Hare. So Hare ran out of patience and thought he had to take revenge in order to protect himself.

One day he found a way to do so. After dark, he said, “Uncle Tiger! Tonight we’ll stay on top of the red rock over there,” and Tiger made a sign of agreement.

Hare said, “Uncle Tiger! You collect wood, I’ll make a fire.” Then Hare lit a bonfire and shouted, “Uncle Tiger! If you don’t move back, your nice sheen will get burnt for sure.”

Tiger believed him and as soon as he moved back he fell from the top of the rock and died.

Sheep Defeats Clever Wolf

One day Sheep was left behind in the mountains and did not come home. After he saw a cave, he immediately went into it and stayed there. Suddenly a Wolf came and entered the cave. Sheep got so scared he pissed.

Wolf asked, “What are you doing?”

Sheep answered, “I sprinkled water in my house and I’m sweeping up,” but in his mind Sheep was scared of Wolf. Sheep trembled and struck its horns on the rock wall with a cracking sound.

Wolf thought, “What was that?” and asked, “What are you doing?”

Sheep replied, “I thought I’d sharpen my horns and gore you.”

Wolf fled away quickly.

Horse Kills Wolf by Cleverness

Once, Wolf saw that Horse was stuck in the mire. He said, “I’m going to eat you today.”

Horse said, “If you eat me in the mire, I won’t be clean and my flesh will taste bad. Get me out of the mire and clean me off. It’d be better if you eat me.”

Wolf thought that what Horse said was true and did like Horse said. As Wolf was about to eat him, Horse said, “I’ve some letters on my hooves. If you take them off completely and eat me later, it’d really be better.”

Wolf, the stupid brute, believed him again and bent his head down, planning to take the letters off the surface of Horse’s hooves, whereupon Horse immediately kicked him and killed Wolf then and there.

Then Horse said a few words of caution:

The strong one that took old Horse out of the mire,

The wise one who took the letters off the side of his hooves,

Is one with bad karma that has broken his cheek and lung.

And he slowly wandered away.

Hare and Tortoise

Once Hare and Tortoise lived on a mountain. One day they went to look around the mountain top. That day the sky was as blue and clear as a lake. Several kinds of trees and fruit trees grew on the upper part of the mountain; the middle part was filled with various kinds of fruits; and many lakes and ponds encircled the mountain’s base.

The place was so beautiful and attractive that the more Hare looked, the more he became intoxicated with it. He thought, “Say! This place is so beautiful. How nice it would be if I were the sole owner of this mountain!” Then an evil scheme arose in his mind, and he said to Tortoise, “Hey, Younger Brother! Tomorrow we must have a race from the foot to the top. If you can get to the top first I’ll give you sole ownership of the mountain. If I get there first, you can’t stay here.”

Tortoise heard that and thought, “Oh, that’s no good. Hare is planning to drive me out to somewhere else. What should I do? Hare has long limbs and is expert at running. I’m unable to compete with him, so it’d be better to rely on a wise plan.” He asked, “Elder Brother! I’ve got short limbs and no skill at racing. So it’d take me a very long time to go to the foot of the mountain and crawl to the top later. Can we race from the top to the foot?”

Hare thought, “He can’t compete with me in a race,” and said, “Fine, fine. Tomorrow morning, before the sun’s rays even strike the top, you let yourself appear at the big bridge at the foot of the mountain.”

In the evening, Tortoise stayed by a stream of melt water on the side of the mountain. The next day, as soon as the sun rose, he crawled into the melt water stream and let it carry him to the big bridge. Then he climbed up and waited on the bridge, and after a while he saw Hare coming. He teased him saying, “Elder Brother, hurry up, hurry up!”

Hare saw Tortoise, and his face turned pale and his eyes became wet with tears; he could do nothing else but wander to another place.

—Dkon mchog rdo rje, Qinghai Folk Literature 4, 1983.


Folk Story Amdo
Four Children's Stories
Collection Tibetan Children's Stories
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Author Dkon mchog rdo rje
Translator Larry Epstein
Original year published 1983
Creative Commons Licence