The Year Of The Drought
In the times when Brother Rabbit and Brother Fox lived in the same village, there was a very long drought. The weather was very hot, and a hot wind was blowing, and the leaves on the trees were dead and dry, and even the ground was burning. The hot sun burnt the crops and all the plants and vegetables. It was a terrible thing, and the animals did not know what to do. They ran this way and that way, but they could not do anything, because there was no rain, and even the river was almost dry. They did not know where to get food.
At the time of this drought Brother Fox met Brother Rabbit. He looked at Brother Rabbit with greedy, hungry eyes, but he did not try to catch him. He knew that Brother Rabbit was a very clever man, and maybe Brother Rabbit could tell him where to get food. He went up to Brother Rabbit and said:
"Brother Rabbit, where shall we get our bread?"
Brother Rabbit answered:
"I am afraid that we shall get it in a place which is called 'nowhere'."
But this was his first and his last joke that day. He saw that Brother Fox was in a dangerous mood, and he began to think. At last he said:
"There is only one thing that we can do. We shall have to take our families to town and trade them off for corn."
Brother Fox's own life was dearer to him than the lives of his family. So he thought a little and then he said:
"All right, Brother Rabbit. You shall take your family to the market and I shall take my family. That is fair."
But Brother Rabbit had his own plan. He was not going to sell his wife and children. He only wanted to save the village from Brother Fox and his family. At a time of such trouble they could be very dangerous. He said:
"Yes, I think that it is fair. But I am a poor man, Brother Fox, and I have no horses and no wagon. What shall we do?"
"We shall go in my wagon, Brother Rabbit," said Brother Fox.
Then they agreed to meet in the morning at the crossroads. Brother Fox said:
"I shall catch my family and tie them with a good rope." .
"That's right," said Brother Rabbit, "I shall do the same."