Bunny Rabbit and the King of the Beasts (Native American Folk Tale)

Bunny Rabbit had been playing so many pranks on the other animals that the King of Beasts decided he would have to eat him up. So he told the Fox: “Go bring Bunny Rabbit to me, so I can eat him up and get him out of our way.”

The Fox trotted off over the prairie and found Bunny Rabbit. “Come with me, Bunny Rabbit. The King of Beasts has sent for you.”

“All right,” replied Bunny Rabbit, “but before we go, don”t you want some nice apples to eat? Right over there in that field there is a tree just full of apples. You go over and get some and I'll wait here for you.”

Apples sounded very good to the Fox, so he left Bunny Rabbit and went to find the tree. Bunny Rabbit ran away. The Fox found the apples so delicious that he stayed under the tree all night eating them. Next morning he had such a pain in his stomach that he lay on the ground and rolled over and over, moaning and groaning.

When the Fox did not come back with the rabbit, the King of Beasts called the coyote: “Coyote, go find the Fox and see why he hasn”t brought the rabbit to me.”

So the Coyote set out to find the Fox. He found him groaning under the apple tree.

“Where is Bunny Rabbit? Why haven”t you taken him to the King of Beasts?”

“I swallowed him,” said the Fox, “to keep him from getting away and he is kicking around in my stomach so hard to get out that I have a dreadful pain. I cannot walk. Please go over on the other side of that hill and bring me some of the herbs growing there. They are good medicine and will make me feel better. Then we can take the rabbit to the King of Beasts.”

Coyote ran over the hill to get the herbs. He bit off a mouth full of herbs to take to the Fox. They tasted so good that he kept eating and eating them. He stayed there all night eating the herbs.

Next day the King of Beasts called the piñon jay bird: “Go, find the Coyote and the Fox and see why they haven”t brought the rabbit to me.”

The piñon Jay flew away over the prairie. He found Bunny Rabbit. He did not wait to find the Coyote and the Fox. He just flew away with Bunny Rabbit to the King of Beasts.

The King of Beasts showed his sharp teeth and licked out his long tongue; “Well, Bunny Rabbit, I have you at last. You have been annoying the other animals so much with your pranks that I am going to eat you up!”

“I am very tired, King of Beasts, I shall be glad to be eaten up; but wouldn”t you like some fat little prairie dogs to eat first? I know where there are lots of fat ones. I will show you.”

Now Bunny Rabbit knew where a hunter had set a trap in the woods, so he led the King of Beasts right into the trap. The trap caught the King of Beasts” foot and held him tight for the hunter. Bunny Rabbit ran away calling, “I hope you will enjoy the prairie dogs, King of Beasts.”

Note: Taos Pueblo

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