From The Archive-Stories from Near and Far: Judge Rabbit And Tiger(Episode 138)
oday’s story, Judge Rabbit and Tiger is an adapted folktale from Cambodia. The story is about a witty and clever rabbit who tricks Tiger.
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Tiger was mad. Judge Rabbit had tricked him again. Poor Tiger’s tail hurt because of that trick. So, he was chasing Rabbit to teach him a lesson.
“I'll get you, Rabbit,” he roared, running through the forest. Rabbit ran and ran and ran as quickly as he could. But he heard Tiger close behind.
Children, do you think the tiger would eat the Rabbit?
“Tiger runs fast,” thought Judge Rabbit.
“So I'll have to think even faster.”
Just then Rabbit saw a bee’s nest in the tree. He climbed quickly up and sat next to it. Carefully he took a leaf licked it and put it over the door hole, so it stuck.
Children, why did he do it?
That’s because he had a trick up his sleeve.
With the leaf stuck over the hole, angry bees were suddenly trapped inside the nest. They wanted to get out. They buzzed and buzzed very, very loudly. And the buzzing sounded like a special kind of drum.
Judge Rabbit pulled back his arm, then swung it almost to the nest. He pretended to hit the nest, but of course, he was most careful not to. Back and forth his arm waved as if beating a fine steady sound on a drum.
Tiger came and stood under the tree.
“I ‘ve got you now, Rabbit,” he growled.
“And I am going to eat you up.”
“Not now, Tiger, “ Cried Judge Rabbit.
“Later you can eat me. Right now I’m too busy.”
“Busy Doing what?” asked Tiger as he watched Rabbit, who seemed to be hitting something.
“I am playing the drum for the angels above,” he replied, “They love this music and they will give me a grand gifts.”
Tiger listened carefully.
It did sound quite nice, like a finely tuned drum.
Children, can you guess what was going on in the tiger’s mind?
He was only thinking about the gifts. He didn't think about bees. He didn't recognise the bee’s nest. He just thought about all the gifts Rabbit was getting.
The tiger felt jealous.
“Rabbit, I want to play the drum and get gifts,” he said.
Judge Rabbit knew his plan was working.
“Sorry Tiger,” said Rabbit. It's my turn.”
“Please, Rabbit,” pleaded Tiger. “Please let me play.”
“But if you come up here, you will eat me,” Rabbit replied.
“No, no, I promise I won't,” said Tiger. “Let me play and I'll be your friend forever.”
“Well ,” said Rabbit. “Pleeeeese,” begged Tiger.
“Oh! alright,” said Rabbit. “I'll go find another drum, you climb up here and watch me. When I jump up and down three times, hit that drum as hard as you can. The angels will love it !”
“Akoon, Akoon!” said Tiger, thanking Judge Rabbit again and again.
Then Rabbit came down and started to run.
Tiger climbed up slowly and sat next to the drum. He watched and waited for Rabbit’s signal. At last, he saw the three big jumps, with the grin and dreams of gifts, he took his hand and gave the drum one huge hit.
The nest broke. Hundreds of furious bees raced out. Tiger jumped down and tried to run. But the bees followed right behind. Those angry bees chased him for a long- long time.
As for Rabbit, he was far, far away, and quite safe.
He wiggled his ears, munched his favourite cucumbers, and thought about poor tiger, tricked again.