The Orange Fairy Book HTML version
How Isuro the Rabbit Tricked Gudu
Far away in a hot country, where the forests are very thick and dark, and the
rivers very swift and strong, there once lived a strange pair of friends. Now one of
the friends was a big white rabbit named Isuro, and the other was a tall baboon
called Gudu, and so fond were they of each other that they were seldom seen
One day, when the sun was hotter even than usual, the rabbit awoke from his
midday sleep, and saw Gudu the baboon standing beside him.
'Get up,' said Gudu; 'I am going courting, and you must come with me. So put
some food in a bag, and sling it round your neck, for we may not be able to find
anything to eat for a long while.'
Then the rabbit rubbed his eyes, and gathered a store of fresh green things from
under the bushes, and told Gudu that he was ready for the journey.
They went on quite happily for some distance, and at last they came to a river
with rocks scattered here and there across the stream.
'We can never jump those wide spaces if we are burdened with food,' said Gudu,
'we must throw it into the river, unless we wish to fall in ourselves.' And stooping
down, unseen by Isuro, who was in front of him, Gudu picked up a big stone, and
threw it into the water with a loud splash.
'It is your turn now,' he cried to Isuro. And with a heavy sigh, the rabbit
unfastened his bag of food, which fell into the river.
The road on the other side led down an avenue of trees, and before they had
gone very far Gudu opened the bag that lay hidden in the thick hair about his
neck, and began to eat some delicious-looking fruit.
'Where did you get that from?' asked Isuro enviously.
'Oh, I found after all that I could get across the rocks quite easily, so it seemed a
pity not to keep my bag,' answered Gudu.
'Well, as you tricked me into throwing away mine, you ought to let me share with
you,' said Isuro. But Gudu pretended not to hear him, and strode along the path.
By-and-bye they entered a wood, and right in front of them was a tree so laden
with fruit that its branches swept the ground. And some of the fruit was still green,
and some yellow. The rabbit hopped forward with joy, for he was very hungry; but
Gudu said to him: 'Pluck the green fruit, you will find it much the best. I will leave
it all for you, as you have had no dinner, and take the yellow for myself.' So the
rabbit took one of the green oranges and began to bite it, but its skin was so hard
that he could hardly get his teeth through the rind.