Md. Nomaan Sarkar
(Translate by Rabab Alam)
Once there lived a rabbit. He was the friend of every animal in the jungle where he used to live. He always used help everyone. One night a huge storm passed over the jungle. The next day after the storm ended rabbit went to see the condition of the jungle. While roaming around the jungle, he saw a gigantic hole. The hole was filled with water. He took a closer look. He was surprised to see that the water was purple! He never saw anything such as this before. He said mumbling, it’s really strange. He started to have an urge to touch the water and see. Just as he touched the water, he noticed his hand has turned purple. He was petrified. He tried to remove the color with his other hand and feet. But the more he tried, it seems more the color spread towards his body until he became totally purple. As he kept attempting to remove the color he didn’t realize he has stepped inside the hole. Then he saw he was right in the middle of the hole.
Within morning the news had been spread. All the animals in the jungle came to see him. He explained to everyone how he got stuck here. Hearing that all of them took a few steps away from him. Everybody got frantic to see him. No one came near. He kept asking for help.
But nothing worked, no one came forward to help. As if everyone is a stranger to him.
Rabbit said to the elephant, “You can save me with your trunk, can’t you?” The elephant replied with a mild smile, “Look if my trunk gets colored then the animals in the jungle will throw me out of the society. Do you want that?”
Rabbit said, “Have I not came in any help of yours? I’ll die if I’m unable to come out of here! Please someone step ahead.”
Elephant said, “Rabbit don’t mind. Every one of us will die. So dying is easier but for surviving in society, we can’t do whatever we want.”
The rabbit replied in a downcast voice, “What are you saying?” Looking at other rabbit said, “Is there anyone who can save me? If I stay here, like this then I’ll die. Am I not your friend?”
Everyone only heard his words. And they spent the time talking within each other. But none came ahead. Then one by one all left. Like nothing happened anywhere. Rabbit stared at everyone leaving one by one.He felt like a forlorn.
Morning faded into noon. Noon also started to fade. And fear nestled in the rabbit’s mind.
In came hyena’s group. They laughed and said, “We can save you, a bit of color is the matter, isn’t it? We don’t have the worries about society. Let us be colored as much as it is. Give your hand. Come on give your hand let’s see.”
Rabbit said, “You all will save for sure but you all will devour me as you’ll save me. It’s better to stay here instead.”
The eldest.. hyena said, “Ghosts will devour you at night. Ghosts come here at night; do you know that?”
The rabbit replied in a sorrowful tone, “You are worse than those ghosts! Go away you all; go away.”
Again that cruel laughter. A group of hyena started to circle the surroundings. Rabbit stared at how the surrounding becomes difficult during danger. He is getting scared, it’s like real fear.` Yummy the yummy smell of fear!’
After staying for a long time the group of hyena left. In came a fox. The afternoon light was starting to flee away. Fox with a polite voice said, “Oh my, what you are in such sorrow. I can’t tolerate it. I’m feeling very sad for you. No one came forward, albeit you have done so much for the animals of the jungle. I just got the news. Look at me? I came running.”
Seems like the rabbit softens at his words. He extended one of his violet hand. Fox himself also extended his hand slightly for sure. But he didn’t grab the hand. Fox said in a polite tone, “My friend, I have a bad reputation in this jungle, if I save you, in that case, you have to do a work in my favor. Won’t you? Don’t be so surprised, I won’t ask too much from my friend.”
Rabbit stared at the fox with a stunning look.
Fox was still keeping up his talking, “I have a great bad reputation. From now on you have to praise me. I usually do wrong works and make mistakes, you have to cover them up. What? Can’t you do this much for me?”
The rabbit replied with astonishment, “What if I don’t do it? If I don’t promise that, then you will not save me. Isn’t it?”
Fox said with a calm tone, “Have I said that? I’m only asking for a promise from my friend. If you stay here you will die, rather than that it is a usual matter. Isn’t it, pal? Isn’t it?”
Rabbit remained silent. As the rabbit wasn’t saying anything for a long time, the fox said, “Look when someone falls in danger at that time in this he has nothing but his life. That means whatever you have is now yours and mine. But what is mine, not yours? Friend, are you understanding what I’m saying?”
The rabbit replied, “Mischievous friend always increases the danger. You go away.”
Fox tried to make him understand. But the rabbit didn’t talk to him anymore. At last, the fox went away with a sad mood. Before going he said, “Friend it would have been if you had a bigger heart.”
The afternoon was fading and turning into dusk. Right at that time rabbit saw that a monkey and a group of ant quarreling were coming this way. What an argument! As if no one going to spare each other.
At one-point rabbit ceased their argument by scolding. Being scolded everyone became quiet. Then seeing the violet-colored rabbit, the queen ant became very surprised and said, “Who are you, son?”
As the rabbit told everything, the monkey and the group of ant said in chorus, “You are that rabbit friend of ours. And no one came to help you.” “Wait a bit, wait a bit” the monkey said as he went right, the group of ant went left. For a long time, there was no sound. On the other, the darkness came in all of a sudden and swallowed the place in darkness. It was so much dark that rabbit couldn’t even see himself. Sudden in the dark rabbit realized something was pouring one by one on him. It isn’t a snake, is it? Rabbit tried to jump. And at that moment from the right monkey and from left group of ant screamed, “Catch, catch the rope, catch.”
Rabbit understood one from the right and from left one after one vine ropes are falling on him. As he grabbed the rope two team from two sides started to pull him. He came out of the water in darkness. Rabbit being beyond happy thanked the creator. At that time he remembered, alas what have he done! Now the monkey and the ants will turn violet. But for darkness, no one can see that. Alas, alas what has he did! He hadn’t told any of them about the story of being violet. He said, about it in a high pitch tone. Then the monkey and group of ant gave him solace by repeatedly saying, “We have heard a lot about you helping others. Think about that can’t we do this small thing. It’s the least we could do. If our body color changes then let it be, we are able to save that’s the main thing and we are happy with it.”
The next day at dawn when the rabbit woke up he saw that monkey and the group of ant were sleeping. But their body color didn’t change. It didn’t turn to violet. He started to scream with joy. With that monkey and ants woke up. Then the rabbit started to scream, “You all are my friend, you all are my friend.” And hearing that everyone started to cheer and started to dance.