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Mexico: La Leyenda de la Luna de Conejo

Mexico: La Leyenda de la Luna de Conejo

A Oaxacan legend tells the story of a clever little rabbit who eluded a jaguar and found a new home in the moon. Rabbit and jaguar lived with an old couple who had nothing to eat. One night, pained with hunger and regret, the couple decided that they would have to eat rabbit in order to stay alive. Jaguar heard of this plan and taunted rabbit, knowing he too would soon enjoy a meal of his old friend!

From his cage, rabbit heard the old couple boiling water. Clever rabbit told jaguar that the old couple was preparing sweet hot chocolate for him to drink before he was sacrificed. Rabbit invited envious jaguar to switch places with him in his cage so that he could have the hot chocolate instead. Jaguar greedily agreed, but as soon as he opened rabbit’s cage to switch places, rabbit escaped into the wild. Jaguar, now hungry and enraged, gave chase. He found rabbit hanging high up in a tree, laughing at jaguar’s foolishness. Furious jaguar tried with all his might to jump high enough to catch rabbit, but managed only to grab a vine. Too heavy to climb up, jaguar could not hold on. As he fell back to the ground and let go of the vine, up soared clever little rabbit into the night sky until he landed safely on the moon!

Rabbit still lives in the moon today, curled up in laughter from having outwitted jaguar. If you look at a full moon on a clear night, you can still see the beloved trickster, forever safe and happy, high above the world.