Mrs. Land 7th Grade Elaela Blog

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Translatedand retold by Marisa Montes

Many years ago, all the animals were friendsexcept for Tiger, who had sworn to eat all small animals that crossed his path.Especially Rabbit. Rabbit was agile and witty and very, very clever, whileTiger was clumsy and dull and quite stupid. And Tiger couldn't stand for anyoneto be more clever than he. So Tiger made it his goal in life to rid himself ofthe pesky little rabbit. Rabbit knew this and was always on the lookout forTiger. But Rabbit could not always avoid Tiger because they both enjoyed a goodstroll in the forest.

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One day, after a generous lunch, Rabbit lay inthe shade of a huge boulder, ready to begin an afternoon siesta. As hewas about to doze off, he heard a twig crack somewhere behind him. Always readyfor a possible attack from Tiger, Rabbit jumped up and pushed his back againstthe boulder, as though he were holding it up.
Sure enough, an orange face with black stripesemerged from behind the boulder. The face alone was larger than Rabbit's entirebody.
'Aha, amigo Conejo, I have caughtyou. Any last wishes?'
Tiger's voice was so deep and loud that itvibrated through Rabbit's bones, making him shake even harder than he wasalready shaking. But frightened as he was, Rabbit was determined to go throughwith his plan and save his life.
'Only, friend Tiger, that you help me savethe world. I care not for myself. After we have saved the world, you can dowith me what you will.'
'What is this?' said Tiger, lookingaround in terror. 'The world is in danger?'
Rabbit knew he had the foolish tiger hooked.'This boulder is slipping. If it rolls down the side of the hill, theworld will collapse. I am trying to hold it up, but I am small and weak . .'
'Of course, I will help! I do not wish theworld to end!' Tiger pushed his back against the boulder and held it upwith all his strength.
'I will go get help,' said Rabbit,starting to hop away.
'Good idea,' said Tiger. 'What asmart rabbit you are!'
'I'll hurry. Don't move until I return withall our friends.'
Rabbit bounced off, chuckling to himself andleaving the stupid tiger huddled against the rock. Hours later, Tiger finallycollapsed next to the boulder, exhausted from pushing. Trembling and crying, heresigned himself to his fate and waited for the boulder to roll over him andfor the world to end.
To his amazement, the boulder did not budge andthe world did not come crashing down around him. He stood and touched theboulder. It was solid. In the treetops, monkeys giggled and birds chirped inamusement. It was then that Tiger realized he'd been tricked.
'Rabbit!' Tiger roared and shook hisfist in the air. 'Wait till I get my claws on you!'
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Tiger hunted Rabbit for weeks, but Rabbit knewhow furious Tiger was and kept out of his way. A few months later, it had beenso long since he'd seen Tiger that Rabbit grew a bit careless. He was chattingwith a monkey friend at the foot of an ancient tamarind tree, when a wideshadow slid over the two friends.
'Aha, amigo Conejo! I have you now.This time I will eat you in one bite!'
The booming voice vibrated Rabbit's bones. Themonkey shrieked and scrambled up the tree. Rabbit knew he could not outrunTiger. However, he might outwit him once more.
Rabbit turned to face his enemy. Tiger had a coilof rope around his shoulder, and he was grinning so hard, all his terribleteeth gleamed in the sunlight.
'Oh, friend Tiger, please do eat me!Hurry!' cried Rabbit. 'It would be kinder than allowing me to suffera more horrible death.'
Tiger narrowed his glistening eyes. 'What isthis?'
'Friend monkey was doing his best to keep mymind off our dreadful fate, but--'
'Haven't you heard? The hurricane that'sapproaching. It'll be here within the hour. The worst one in years.'
'Hurricane!' Tiger began to tremble. Hewas terrified of hurricanes--the crashing trees, the howling wind, the pouringrain! 'Help me Rabbit, please! You are small and can hide anywhere. But Iam so large. And the hurricane will be here before I can return to my cave.What shall I do?'
'There is only one thing you can do, amigo,'said Rabbit, eyeing the coil of rope. 'You must tie yourself up to thistree. It is very strong and has withstood many hurricanes.'
', friend Rabbit, that is asplendid idea. But I cannot tie myself . . . will you do it for me?'
'Well . . . I should be looking for a hidingplace. It will take time to tie you--'
Tiger threw himself on his knees. 'Please,friend Rabbit, have pity!'
Rabbit tried not to smile. 'Sí, sí, Iwill tie you. But please stop blubbering.'
Rabbit took the coil of rope and wrapped it roundand round and round the tamarind tree, firmly tying Tiger to the trunk.
'Good luck, amigo Tigre. I must finda place to hide.' Rabbit hopped from branch to branch till he was high inthe tamarind tree. He settled back to watch Tiger.
A few minutes later, a herd of young goats passedby the tree. When they saw Tiger tied firmly to the tree, they laughed andjumped for joy.
'Laugh now, but you won't be laughing forlong,' said Tiger.
'Haven't you heard? A horrible hurricane iscoming. There isn't much time.'
A frisky young goat leapt forward. 'We havebeen traveling up and down the hills for hours, and we've neither seen anysigns of a hurricane nor heard anyone speak of one.'
'There is no hurricane!' cried anothergoat and rolled on the grass, giddy with laughter.
As Tiger watched the plump goats cavort about, hebegan to grow hungry. Soon his hunger overpowered his fear. His mouth drooledas he imagined how tasty a tender little goat would be.
But the goats saw the gleam in Tiger's eye, andthey bounded away, down the mountain trail. As they ran, they told all theypassed that everyone could celebrate because Tiger was firmly tied to thetamarind tree.
In the meantime, Tiger pulled and tugged andtried to wiggle free. But nothing he did would loosen the rope. Just then, thelittle monkey who'd been playing with Rabbit grew restless and began to swingabove Tiger's head.
'Little monkey,' said Tiger.'Won't you please untie me?'
'Not I,' said the monkey. 'If Ido, you will eat me.'
'No, no! I promise not to eat you if you'lljust untie me. I will even repay you with a bunch of ripe bananas.'
Now, the young monkey had a serious weakness forbananas. And it had been weeks since he'd taken a bite of the sweet fruit. Hecouldn't resist Tiger's offer.
The monkey swung to the next tree. 'If myfriends will help, I'll untie you.'
He scampered up the tree and returned with adozen monkeys. They each gnawed and pulled at the rope till it broke loose.
Meanwhile, Tiger's hunger had been growing andgrowing. The moment the rope fell to the ground he pounced on the monkeys. Heclawed and gnashed his teeth, but the slippery little monkeys were too fast forhim.
Just as Tiger was about to pop the monkey in hismouth, Rabbit called down:
'Tiger, shame on you! That's no way to eat amonkey.'
'Oh?' said Tiger, swinging theterrified monkey in front of his nose. 'So how would you do it?'
'It's much more appetizing to throw themonkey into the air and catch him in your open mouth.'
So Tiger tossed the little monkey high in the airand waited for the tender delicacy to drop into his open mouth. As he floatedup into the branches, the agile monkey hooked his tail on a branch to break hisfall and scampered higher into the tree.
Rabbit shook a branch full of tamarinds, droppingseveral large, tart pods into Tiger's open mouth. Tiger choked and coughed andspit up the sour fruit. He tore off into the forest, his mouth puckering asthough he had eaten a dozen limes. As he ran, he swore he would devour Rabbitthe very next time he saw him.
For many months, Rabbit managed to avoid Tiger.One day, as he was hopping down a steep mountain trail, he passed a farmer andhis donkey who were going to market. The donkey carried heavy covered basketson his sides. The baskets were full to the brim with large rounds of cheese.
As Rabbit passed under the donkey, he noticedsomething. 'Señor,' he said. 'You are in danger of losingone of your banastillas.'
The farmer stopped the donkey and examined thebaskets. Sure enough, the basket nearest the edge of the cliff was comingloose. If he didn't fix it soon, the entire basket--cheese and all--wouldtopple down the steep incline.
'Gracias, little rabbit,' saidthe farmer after he had secured the basket. 'You saved my cheese and agreat deal of income for my family. You deserve a reward. Do you likecheese?'
'Oh, sí Señor,' replied Rabbit.'I love a good queso.'
'Well, this is a very good cheese.' Andthe farmer handed Rabbit two large rounds for his good deed.
Pleased with his reward, Rabbit tucked a cheeseunder each arm and bounced away to a nearby lagoon. In the shade of severalpalms, Rabbit lay back and enjoyed a lunch of fresh cheese and fruit.
Before long, his peace and solitude was shaken bya booming voice that rattled his bones. 'Aha, this time you will notescape! I will finally eat you.'
'Right you are, amigo Tigre, you haveme at last,' replied Rabbit. 'But why don't you eat a bit of quesoas an appetizer first?'
Tiger took the cheese Rabbit offered.'Mmm-mm, I do enjoy a good cheese. And so fresh. Wherever did you findit?'
'Why,right down there at the bottom of the lagoon. See,'--Rabbit held up theremaining round of cheese--'I have another right here.'
The cheese was so delicious, Tiger forgot hispromise to eat Rabbit. 'How did you gather them?'
'Quite simple, really. I just tied heavystones to my legs and jumped in. There are dozens of rounds of cheese floatingnear the bottom.'
'I won't keep you then. I'll just take my quesoand be on my way.'
Before Tiger could remember his threat, Rabbitdisappeared into the forest. Tiger tied one large rock to each of his four legsand jumped into the lagoon.
'Glug-glug-glug!' As he sank deeper anddeeper, Tiger swallowed large gulps of water. He glanced around him, but hecould not see the promised cheeses. Soon he realized Rabbit had fooled himagain.
Sure hewould drown, Tiger began to struggle against the ropes. But he had tied them sowell, he could not free himself. Fortunately a strong current carried him toshallow water. He dragged himself to the edge, gasping for air. When he couldbreathe normally again, Tiger untied the ropes.

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This was it! Never again would that nasty littleRabbit fool him. Next time, Tiger would have Rabbit pie for lunch!
Tiger looked for Rabbit everywhere, but wasunable to find him. After many months, he lost interest.
During that time Rabbit had been cleverly hidingfrom Tiger. One day, while Rabbit was visiting his friend Fox, the topic ofTiger came up.
'He is such a clever, intelligentfellow,' said Fox, who was a great admirer of Tiger. 'No one canoutsmart Tiger!'
Hearing this, Rabbit began to howl with laughter.The laughter turned to silly giggles that made him wiggle and squirm until hefell off his chair and rolled around on the ground.
'It's--it's just that Tiger is fool! Thereis no bigger bobo. Why, he will even let himself be used as a horse byhis friends.'
'Someday, I will prove it to you,' saidRabbit. 'I will ride by on my Tiger-horse, and I'll even make him rear upwhile I wave to you.'
'Humph!' With a flick of his bushytail, Fox dismissed Rabbit's talk of nonsense.
Soon, Fox forgot their conversation. A few weekslater, Fox decided to have a ball at his home. He would serve a lavish feastand hire an orchestra. With Tiger's help, Fox lined up the best musicians inthe land. The best, that is, except for a guitarist.

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'How can I have a fabulous ball without aguitarist?' whined Fox.
Tiger hated to see his friend so distraught. Hewanted Fox's ball to be a success, and he agreed that it would fall far shortof that without a guitarist. He was determined to help Fox find a guitarist.
Tiger asked around and discovered that the bestguitarist in the forest was Rabbit. Tiger set out to find him. He had oftengone to Rabbit's home looking for him, but Rabbit was far too clever to letTiger know he was home.
This time when Tiger knocked at the door, Rabbitwas waiting for him. Rabbit had heard about the ball and knew why Tiger waslooking for him.
'Go away,' Rabbit called from hisbedroom. 'I'm sick, and I don't want visitors.'
'Rabbit, it's Tiger.' His booming voicerattled the door and shook the windows. 'I've come on Fox's behalf. Heneeds you to play your guitar at his ball tonight.'
Tiger knocked again. 'Open up, Rabbit. Youmust come. The ball will be a disaster without you.'
Rabbit chuckled to himself. Tiger was begging forhim to play at the ball. Rabbit's plan was beginning to work. He wrapped ahandkerchief around his head and grabbed a cane. He hobbled to the door andopened it.

Leaning on the cane, Rabbit said, 'As youcan see, I cannot walk.'
Tiger was anxious to get Rabbit to the ball.'No problem, amigo, I will carry you.'
Rabbit tried to climb on Tiger's back, but hekept slipping off. 'Ay, ay, ay! I cannot get onto your back without asaddle. But I do have one in the back . . . '
Annoyed, Tiger twitched his long tail. But hecouldn't disappoint Fox. 'Fine, get the saddle.'
When Rabbit had saddled Tiger, he tried again toget on, but slid right off. 'I'm afraid I'll need a bridle and some spurs. . . '
Saddled and harnessed, Tiger trotted down theforest path to Fox's house. On Tiger's back sat Rabbit, wearing spurs andcarrying a riding crop. As Tiger trotted, he moaned and groaned as though hewere in horrible pain.
'It would be best to pick up the pace,'said Rabbit. 'The sooner we arrive, the sooner I'll be out of pain.'
Tiger began to run at a quick clip. When Rabbitsaw Fox's house, he tossed off his kerchief, snapped the whip, and dug thespurs into Tiger's sides. Tiger reared up and began to race toward the house.
'Amigo Fox, come out, come out!'cried Rabbit. 'It's your friend Rabbit riding his Tiger-horse!'
Fox dashed out to the porch. When he saw hisfriend Tiger saddled and harnessed and ridden like a horse, he put his paws onhis head. 'Rabbit was right. Tiger is truly a fool. A very great bobo!'
Rabbit gave Tiger one more kick with the spursand made him rear up in front of Fox's house. Rabbit waved and whooped. Withanother snap of his whip, he sent Tiger racing through the forest.
In a dense area of the forest, Rabbit hopped offTiger's back and hid in the bushes until Tiger was far away. Then he went home,packed up, and found a new home, where Tiger wouldn't find him.

To this day, Tiger still looks for Rabbit,swearing to gobble him up before he can utter a word.