Corinne Bliss

The Rabbit and the Stone

Once, far, far away from here, a family of rabbits lived together. It was important for rabbits to, before leaving the den, learn how to jump far and quickly to avoid the many enemies in their lives.

It was in this family that the mother decided it was time to send her children out into the world as adults, but there was one condition: they were to jump completely over the tall stone that sat in their garden. When they did, the mother promised them one favor, with no restrictions. When her five children heard this, they were excited- but one was afraid. While her brothers Raoul, Kenyu, Ter, and Ohka were fast and skilled, little Raja was nervous since she could never jump as high as them. She decided to take her turn last, out of fear.

The mother called forth her oldest son, Raoul. Raoul was easily the strongest of the family, and was quite able to jump over the stone with no problems. He turned to his mother afterward, and waited for him to speak.

"You have done it… now, what is it you want?" The mother looked into her son's bold eyes.

"Gold," cried the young rabbit, puffing out his chest. "For then I can buy the tools for my future success."

The mother knew that this would eventually lead to greed and want, but she nodded anyhow. She gave him a share of the family earnings and set Raoul off into the world, unsure about her son's future.

Next came Kenyu, the best jumper in the family and found the task no challenge. Upon completing the easy chore, he waited impatiently for his mother to speak to him.

"What is it you want?"

"Power," he said strongly, "So I can create my own future."

The mother nodded, though knowing that deeply rooted power lead to anger and hate, and would consume her son's heart. But unable to deny the request, she sent Kenyu off with a medal proving his new rank and power.

Ter approached quickly afterwards. He was the swiftest in the family, able to run across fields like a wildfire. With a running start, he was able to clear the rock without any effort. Ter had been thinking the entire time: he would ask for something better than his brothers, and was proud of this decision.

"What is it you want, my son?"

"Desire," Ter spoke confidently, "So I will strive to create and acquire my own things."

The mother agreed- but this, the son did not know, led to lust and envy, which was a terrible creature when set loose upon the soul. But she nodded, letting go of her son to an uncertain future. There were only two more children to see off.

Ohka gladly took his turn. He wasn't very strong, nor fast, but always had a quick wit about him and used this talent to become a trickster. He was known to fool even the wisest elder in the den. Ohka distracted his mother, and merely leapt beside the rock, fooling the old hare into thinking he had cleared it. He smirked and waited for his turn to request a favor.

"Now Ohka, what do you want?"

With a sly tone, he spoke one word: "Trust."

The mother knew that this was something that needed to be earned, and that her son would not benefit from the gift straight-out. But she agreed, putting his trust into the boy as he left the home.

Last, but not least, was little Raja. Her short legs were quivering as she slowly approached the rock and stared up. She had never been able to leap that high in her life! Her mother knew something was amiss, and so she called to her daughter.

"Is there something wrong?"

"Could I…" Raja spoke thoughtfully, "Ask for my favor before I jump over the rock?"

The mother thought a moment, and saw no harm in this. She agreed, nodding as she did. "What is it you want?"

"I would like it if you'd help me over this stone."

The mother was surprised! But she had granted a favor to each of the other children, and could not deny Raja. The mother helped her daughter leap over the stone, then watched her daughter intently.

"Thank you, Momma," Raja bowed deeply. She then asked if she could be excused to dinner for the evening, and took off at a fair pace when allowed. The mother watched Raja leave, feeling her heart become warm. For, of all her children, Raja had asked for least but got the most… the wisdom of a beautiful soul.