51. The Rabbit and the Coconut



Rabbit slept under a coconut-tree, and a coconut fell on his head.
"The sky's falling!" Rabbit shouted. He jumped and ran.
"What's wrong?" Deer asked.
"End of the world! The sky's falling!" shrieked Rabbit, and Deer ran with him.
They met Fox. "What's wrong?" she asked.
Rabbit panted, "Sky falling! End of world!"
Now Rabbit, Deer, and Fox were running.
Monkey, Leopard, Elephant... all running!
Lion stopped them. "Who says it's the end of the world?"
They pointed at Rabbit, and Rabbit took Lion to the tree.
"A coconut fell down!" Lion roared. "It's not the end of the world."

Inspired by: The Jataka translated by H.T. Francis and R.A. Neil.
Notes: You can find many examples of this type of folktale at Dan Ashliman's website: The Sky is Falling.

Here is an illustration by Ellsworth Young:



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