Once upon a time, in a forest, there lived a greedy lion. All the other animals were scared of him, because he hunted everyday and killed the animals in large numbers even when he was not hungry. They knew that soon, none of them would be left alive.
The animals met and decided that they would offer one animal to the lion everyday. They went to the lion and said, “Your Majesty, please hear us out. We have a humble request. The rate at which you killing us, soon none of us will be left in the forest. We ask you to stay in your den always. Everyday, we will send you one animal as your food. This way you won’t have to hunt for your food and we, too, can survive.”
The lion agreed and from that day onward, one animal chosen to be sent to the lion, to become his meal.
One day it was the turn of an young rabbit. This rabbit was very clever. He did not want to be eaten by the lion. He also wanted to get rid of the lion forever. He thought hard and came up with a plan to kill the lion.
On the day he was supposed to go to the lion, to become lion’s meal, he got up very late. He started walking slowly towards the lion’s den. He even slept on the way, reaching the lion’s den by sunset.
In the meantime, the lion had grown angry and impatient. When he saw the tiny rabbit coming towards him, he roared, “I have waited an entire day, and the animals send me this puny little rabbit! You are too small for a meal. I shall teach the animals a lesson. I will kill them all!”
The rabbit remained calm and said, “Oh mighty lion, may I say something. The animals had sent a group of six rabbits for your meal. But on the way, another lion stopped us. he said that he was the new king of the forest. We told him that we already have a brave lion as our king. He kept the five rabbits with me and asked me to inform you that you must leave the forest at once or he will kill you.
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The lion, upon hearing this, became very furious. He asked the rabbit to take him to the new lion’s den so that he could kill the other lion and settle the matter.
The rabbit agreed and led the lion to a deep well.
“He lives in that fortress, My Lord,” said the rabbit to the lion. The lion went to the well and looked inside. He saw his own reflection in the water and thought it was the other lion. He roared in anger. He heard the echo of his voice and thought it was the other lion. He jumped inside the well to kill the enemy lion. But his head crashed against the rocks, he fell into the water and was drowned.
The little rabbit rushed back to tell the other animals how he had saved the forest.