Excerpt from a Rabbit Myth

(Frith = the sun, whom the rabbits identify as the creator

El-ahrairah = the father of all rabbits)

So Frith said, “Then come out of that hole and I will bless you.”

“No, I cannot,” said El-ahrairah, “I am busy. The fox and the weasel are coming. If you want to bless me you can bless my bottom, for it is sticking out of the hole.”

Then Frith felt himself in friendship with El-ahrairah, who would not give up even when he thought the fox and the weasel were coming. And he said, “Very well, I will bless your bottom as it sticks out of the hole. Bottom, be strength and warning and speed forever and save the life of your master. Be it so!”

And as he spoke, El-ahrairah’s tail grew shining white and flashed like a star: and his back legs grew long and powerful and he thumped the hillside until the very beetles fell off the grass stems. He came out of the hole and tore across the hill faster than any creature in the world. And Frith called after him,

“El-ahrairah, your people cannot rule the world, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”

Watership Down, by Richard Adams, pp. 36 – 37

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