1-A Hare's Rumor
A hare resting under a banyan tree had a premonition of doom.
"What would happen to me if the earth were to break up?" he wondered.
Suddenly, there was a sound of "thud" followed by a rumbling sound.
"It's happened," thought the hare, "the earth's breaking up!"
He jumped up and ran.
"Why are you running?" asked a hare who crossed his path.
"The earth's breaking up!" shouted the hare. "You'd better run too."
The second hare ran so fast that he overtook the first one.
"The earth's breaking up, the earth's breaking up!" he shouted to other
hares whom he passed.
Soon thousands of hares were scampering through the forest.
Other animals also got caught up in the panic. The word spread from mouth to mouth,
and soon everyone knew: the earth was breaking up. It was not long before the whole
jungle was on the move. Reptiles, insects, birds and four-footed animals fled in
wild disorder, and their cries of terror filled the air.
A lion standing on a hillock saw the animals coming and wondered what was going
on. He hastened down and positioning himself in front of the horde called for it
to stop. His commanding presence stemmed the rising tide of panic among the
"The earth is breaking up!" shrieked a parrot, alighting on a rock near him.
"Who says so?"
"I heard it from the monkeys."
The monkeys said they had heard it from the tigers, who said their informants were
the elephants, who gave the buffaloes as their source. When the hares were finally
implicated they pointed one to another until the one who had started it all was
"What makes you think the earth is breaking up?" the lion asked him.
"I heard it cracking with my own ears, sire," squeaked the hare, trembling in fear.
The lion investigated the sound the hare had heard and found that it had been caused
by a large coconut falling from a tree. It had landed on a pile of rocks, causing a
"Go back to your homes," said the lion to the animals who had been running
away looking very foolish, "The earth is safe. Next time, check a rumor before
acting on it."
This is the power of rumor - it 'grows' as it 'goes' from one to another, easily
spreads like a wildfire. It does travel faster, but it does not stay put as long
as truth! Beware of rumors and do not participate in spreading them. We cannot
control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them.
"The world is a nest of crows; some caw in praise; some caw in derision. But
men should be above the reach of praise and blame. Overcome and be strong when you
are faced with rumors". "Never tell evil of any man, if you do not know
it for certainty, and even if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself,
"Why should I tell it?" If you spot a rumor, always go to the source of
it and find out what is the truth before spreading it further. What you don't see
with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth.