Brother Hare and Uncle Wolf

 

Brother Hare pretended to die at a crossroad. An old lady came along, carrying on her back a backpack full of bags of sugar. She saw Brother Hare and said, “Such a big hare! When I go home tonight, I’ll make a sweet meat-broth and have it to drink.” She put Brother Hare in the backpack and went on her way. Brother Hare, with a smile, opened his eyes, instantly took the sugar bags, jumped out of the backpack and ran off.

Brother Hare went to a place where there was no one at all. He sat atop a boulder, opened up the sugar bags, and ate each one of them. While he was doing so, nasty old Uncle Wolf came loping along. Uncle Wolf asked, “What are you eating?” “Eyeballs.” After Uncle Wolf had thought a while, he said, “If I look at what you’re eating, those eyeballs must be really yummy. So give me an eyeball too!” Brother Hare gave him a sugar bag. Since Uncle Wolf had a big mouth he took a whole mouthful. Licking the sugar off his throat and chops, he said, “That eyeball is really delicious. But I still don’t taste it clearly.” Brother Hare said, “Since creatures have no more than a pair of eyeballs where would I get so many to give you?” Uncle Wolf said, “So take my eyeball!” Brother Hare gouged out the one of Uncle Wolf’s eyeballs, and, instead of putting it in Uncle Wolf’s mouth, fed him sugar. It tasted so good Uncle Wolf said, “Take my other eyeball too.” Brother Hare took that eyeball too and put it in Uncle Wolf’s mouth. Uncle Wolf said, “Phooey! This time the eyeball was really bitter! Now I can’t at all see either, so you guide me.”

Then Brother Hare led Uncle Wolf and went to a cliff. Uncle Wolf’s eyeballs had been gouged out and he was shivering, so Brother Hare gathered firewood, lit a fire and warmed food for Uncle Wolf. Uncle Wolf was sitting at the edge of the cliff and Brother Hare pushed the fire in front of Uncle Wolf. He said, “Uncle Wolf, move over. If you don’t, your tail will get burnt.” Uncle Wolf moved over a little toward the edge. Again Brother Hare pushed the fire in front of Uncle Wolf and said, “Uncle Wolf, move over. If you don’t, your tail will get burnt.” Uncle Wolf moved over a little and fell over the cliff.

Brother Hare went to the cliff and when he looked into the chasm he saw Uncle Wolf holding on to a single blade of broom grass halfway down with his teeth. He said, “Uncle Wolf, if you’re the son of a good father, say ‘Ah’. If you’re the son of a bad father, say ‘Um.’” Uncle Wolf bragged, “I’m the son of a good father and the leather of a good yak,” and said ‘Ah’. At the same time, he fell down the cliff and scattered his brains in the abyss.

—Bskal bzang, Qinghai Folk Literature 4, 1985

Folk Story Amdo

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About

Collection Tibetan Children's Stories
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Author Bskal bzang
Translator Larry Epstein
Original year published 1985
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Creative Commons Licence