13 STORIES FOR CHILDREN
The rabbit was stunned: “Why make fun of me? Have I wronged you?”
The donkey replied: “I am only quoting the gazelle.” The rabbit was in shock. The donkey kept talking: “And the goat, he said you have an empty head.”
The rabbit, now angry, said: “They are malicious friends.” When the rabbit and the bird and the goat and the gazelle came together, they bickered and they argued and it was harsh and intense. Their fight ended when each decided to no longer speak to any of the others. Friends had become enemies.
The donkey was delighted. He said to himself: “I will try to keep them quarrelling until they move away from the meadow and leave it all for me – to live here by myself.”
From that point on, the donkey spent all his time roaming the meadow, eavesdropping on the others and continuing to spread his fabrications. But his ears started to grow, little by little, until they became so long that they looked hilarious. One day the bird noticed the donkey’s ears. He was amazed. And so, forgetting that they were enemies, the bird said to the goat, the gazelle, and the rabbit: “Look at the donkey’s ears.”
The rabbit, the gazelle, and the goat did look at the donkey’s ears, and they howled with laughter for a long time. The donkey was so embarrassed that he hurried to escape from the meadow.
After the donkey ran away, they – the rabbit, the gazelle, the bird, and the goat – talked things over with one another, and it became clear that the donkey was the reason for all of their fighting. “We were blockheads,” they said to each other: “stupid to believe what we heard without finding out if it was true.”
The four friends agreed that the donkey had received the punishment he deserved. They decided to ban those with long ears from living in their meadow, so that their lives might be happy and safe.
BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015 179
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