How Hare Asked God for Wisdom

Hare went to god to ask for Wisdom.

“I am a small animal,” he said, “and in the forest are many animals larger and stronger and fiercer than I. Therefore I must have wisdom if I am to survive, and I beg you for this gift.”

“I will see to it,” said God; “but you must do three things. The first thing you must do is to bring me two of leopard’s teeth dripping with blood.”

“I will try to do this,” said Hare, and he hurried off wondering how this thing might be done. He invited Leopard to dinner that night, and late in the evening when Leopard yawned Hare said:

“You have very beautiful teeth, Leopard. No other animal has teeth so long and strong and white as yours.”

Being vain, Leopard opened his mouth even wider, and as he did so Hare picked up a club and hit Leopard in the mouth. Two teeth fell out. Hare snatched them up and ran away before poor Leopard could recover; he went back to God and gave Him the two teeth, dripping with Leopard’s blood.

“Only a wise man can take two teeth from a living leopard,” God declared. “The second thing you must do is to bring me the most poisonous snake in the forest.

Hare hurried off wondering how he could capture the most poisonous snake in the forest. He cut a long straight stick and put marks on it, then went around the forest measuring animals. Some of the animals thought he must be a little mad, but he did not mind. The most poisonous snake in the forest saw him doing this and asked:

“What are you doing, Hare?”

“I am measuring all the animals. God has asked me to find out who is the longest animal in the forest.”

“I think I am the longest. Measure me.”

Hare placed his stick beside Snake. He tied Snake to the stick at each end and in the middle, and said:

“You are the longest animal, Snake. I will take you to see God,” He carried him to God.

“Well done, Hare,” said God. “Only a wise man could have brought me the most poisonous snake in the forest. Now you must bring all the little birds. That is your last task.”

Hare built a strong cage and went to the little birds.

“Snake says he is going to eat you all tonight,” he said.

“I have made you a strong house. Sleep in there, and you will be safe.”

The little birds believed him, and fearing Snake they all slept in the cage that night. Hare closed the door and took the little birds to God. God smiled.

“Hare, any one who has as much wisdom as you have needs no more. Therefore go back to your place, and never ask for wisdom again.”
Hare had been too clever, as people sometimes are.