Folktale Week 2020 Day 7: Dance
The Rabbit & The Turtle
Dragon King of the South Sea fell gravely ill & no medicine worked for him. One last thing the doctor suggested was a rabbit’s liver. So a turtle was sent on a perilous journey onto the land and into the woods, and brought a rabbit to the ocean palace with a false promise of great position in the ocean court.
When the rabbit realised he was about to be killed, he said his liver was indeed such a precious medicine that he left it hidden in a secret den on land, and that he would happily go and get it for the king. Despite the turtle’s plea, the court decided that the rabbit was telling the truth.
Before the rabbit departed, the king threw a banquet and the rabbit got drunk and danced with the ocean beauties. Looking at him dancing, the ministers of the court wondered what could be wiggling in the rabbit’s belly, if not a liver. The rabbit dared them to cut him open to see there’s only poo in his belly. They couldn’t, in case there was no liver and they would have killed the rabbit for nothing.
The poor turtle was ordered to shuttle the rabbit back to land and bring the liver. The moment they arrived on the shore, the rabbit ran into the woods and was never to be found. The turtle knew he would be killed if he went back empty-handed, so he picked up some rabbit poo and presented it to the king. The king took the medicine the turtle brought and recovered.
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