One day, the king of the hares called a meeting of all his subjects. The reason for the meeting was to deliver bad news. There was a big problem that was threatening to wipe out the whole hare population. Unfortunately, none of his old, gray, wise advisors could offer a solution.
The worried king explained the problem to the hushed crowd. Apparently, there had been a huge influx of jackals and hyena into the hare territory. As a result, many hares had already lost their lives to this carnivore menace. The bad news was that even after lengthy consultations, there seemed to be no solution in sight. The king ended his speech by casting his eyes on the ground as he wished the best of luck to his fellow hares. Those who were near could see the shiny moistness of the tears at the corners of his eyes.
At that moment, there was a small voice at the back of the crowd. The hares near the tiny hare that the voice belonged to tried to stare down the offender. How dare he interrupt such a solemn moment? However, the tiny hare already had the king’s attention. The king immediately asked him to speak up. In a faltering voice, the tiny hare explained what he had in mind. As the crowd listened, the perfect plan to the end of their nightmare unfolded.
The following day, the king of the hares sent a message to the king of the jackals and offered to sacrifice all the hares in his kingdom in exchange for his family’s safety. This was the first part of the plan. The king of the jackals was dumbfounded by such a generous offer but accepted all the same. He called a meeting and told the news to all the other jackals. They all were overjoyed.
On the same day, the king of the hares sent a message to the king of the hyenas and offered to sacrifice all the hares in his kingdom in exchange for his family’s safety. The king of the hyenas was even more dumbfounded than the king of the jackals. He readily accepted and called a meeting to explain the news to all the other hyenas.
Early on the morning of the material day, the king of the hares and his family arrived at the king of the jackal’s home. This was the second part of the plan. They found that all the jackals had already gathered for the feast. Each of the hares was carrying a bag full of beetroots. On asking for the purpose of the vegetable, the king of the hare explained that it would be used to lure the rest of the hares to their slaughter. The hare advised the jackals to crash the vegetable between their teeth and paws and sprinkle the red juice all around the compound. Next, the king of the hare and his family left supposedly to direct the other hares to the compound. In the meantime, the jackals were advised to wait patiently for their price.
When the king of the hare’s family left, it was time to execute the third part of the plan. They went running into the King of the hyena’s household. It was already packed with hungry hyenas. With great alarm and considerable difficulty, the king of the hares informed the hyenas that a great calamity had just happened. He attempted to catch his breath as he explained that while the hares were on their way to the hyenas, a pack of jackals attacked and captured all the other hares. He went ahead to tell the hyenas that the poor hares had been herded into the king of the jackal’s house.
On hearing this, the hyenas were enraged and immediately headed for the house of the king of the jackals. When they arrived, they noticed that there was red liquid spilt all over the compound. Traces of the same liquid were evident on the paws and snouts of the jackals. Assuming this to be blood from the hares, the hyenas immediately attacked the jackals accusing them of betrayal. The jackals’ pleas of innocence were met with deaf ears since from the hyena’s point of view, the incriminating evidence was just too overwhelming.
The hyenas and the jackals fought fiercely and many were killed. The remaining scattered into the hills and did not return in fear of retribution. The hares were saved and lived in peace from that day onwards.
Sometimes, it takes the wisdom of a child to save the day.