GETTING A HOLY MOUNTAIN
BY INTELLEGENT MEANS
Once a mountain called Bemetse was the abode of three animals. The top was the abode of King Lion; the middle of Striped Old Tiger; the base of Wise Hare. Each lived according to their own natures.
Hare thought, “If the other two animals weren’t here, I could own Bemetse Mountain by myself.” After he had four times three—twelve—ideas and twenty-five thoughts, he found a new means, jumped for joy and could not sleep that night.
Early the next day, Wise Hare went to where King Lion was, knelt and asked, “Say Elder Brother, are there animals more fierce than you? Who’s the king of beasts?” King Lion said, “I’m the king of all the animals. So, haven’t you heard everyone call me Turquoise-braided Lion? You old idiot, there’s no purpose to your coming into the world.” Showing he was angry, he sat there greatly proud.
Wise Hare said, “Well, Striped Old Tiger at the middle of the mountain is proclaiming how he’s the king of us beasts and that there’s no one more fierce than he between heaven and earth.” As soon as he said that, King Lion got really furious and with a single leap, he sent Striped Old Tiger on the path of death.
At midnight Hare thought again, “I was able to defeat Striped Old Tiger without difficulty. But what shall I do about Lion?” He thought about it often and in a while he thought of a superior way. Resting for several days, he did not go out.
After a few days, Wise Hare went to Lion’s place with a smile on his face. He flattered Lion, saying, “Fierce king, there is no one as fierce as you, but in that lake over there, there’s a carnivore the same as you. He’s more than twice your size for sure. How would it be if you went to take a look?” King Lion’s face flushed and he said, “Where is he? I’ll go and have a contest of strength.” Wise Hare said, “Well, I’ll show you the way. You’ll be able to see him exactly at midnight on the fifteenth, when the moon shines,” and he returned home.
As soon as the moon rose on the fifteenth, Wise Hare took King Lion to the lake. He showed King Lion his own reflection appearing in the lake, and said, “Did you see the nearby thing? I can’t bear looking at it.” Lion was furious and as soon as he saw the shadow baring its fangs, spreading its claws and shaking its turquoise braids as well, full of pride he jumped into the lake and died.
Wise Hare was really happy. He took over Bemetse Mountain by himself and began to live a happy new life.
—Bon rgya Bla rgan, Qinghai Folk Literature 2, 1996