Monday, June 11, 2012

A Rabbit and A Tiger

Fall 1984

I am God of an animal kingdom.  May I introduce the beautiful kingdom?
   The north part of it is a huge mountain and the south part is a large lake.  A stream from the mountain becomes a river in the middle field and it flows in the lake.  The east part of the kingdom is a forest and the rest of it is fertile fields.  In this good environment, many kinds of animals live in peace in my lovely kingdom.  I'm very satisfied with everything.
  One day, a rabbit who was full of complaints came to me.
   "Why did you make me a weak rabbit, god?  I live in fear of many and many fierce animals.  I can't play pleasantly in the field and I can't take a nap because I have to watch for them.  That's why my eyes became red.  Moreover, I always eat grasses.  I hate all this. . . . "
   I thought that there was something in his complaints.  I made up my mind to help him.
   "What can I do for you, my poor rabbit?  Tell me whatever you want to.  I'll comply with your request."
  He exclaimed with joy.
   "Oh, generous god!  Please make me a strong tiger.  This is my wish."  I made him the strongest tiger in my kingdom, because it was a very simple thing for me to change his shape.  He thanked me and returned.  AFter that, he didn't come to me for a long time.  I thought he might enjoy his life as the strongest tiger taking a nap, playing pleasantly in the field or in the forest and eating delicious meats without a disturbance.
   Winter came with her white garments.  Everything became white in her bosom.  I enjoyed the beautiful sight every day.  Then one day, the tiger came again with a tired and disappointed appearance.  I asked why he was so despaired.
   "Oh god, to be a tiger is not so good, either.  When I was a rabbit, I could find grasses everywhere.  But now, as a tiger, it's too hard for me to get enough food.  Especially, in winter, almost all the animals live in their homes eating saved foods.  I can't even see an animal to hunt.  Furthermore, I can't eat but a small hen.  I'm hungry enough to die.  Beside that, I have no friend.  No animal is willing to talk to me; instead, if they see me, they run away as fast as possible.  When I was a rabbit, we used to cling to each other to warm and to be warmed in this cold winter.  Now, I have no one to cling to.  No one loves me and I have none to love.  I'm lonely.  God, help me, please.'"
   I thought he was right.  Therefore, I decided to help him again.
   "I will help you, dear tiger.  Do you want to be a tiger who can eat grasses or snow?  Or do you want to have a tree whose fruits are all meat?  If you want me to do so, I can introduce you to some tigers.  What do you want?"
   However, he didn't seem to be glad with my suggestions.  He said to me silently, "I want to be a small rabbit.  I'd like to live as a rabbit as long as possible."


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