Many, many years ago there were six rabbits who lived on the shore of
a lake, in a forest. One fine day, a big ripe fruit on one of the
biggest trees fell down into the lake, making a loud “plop!” when it
hit the water. The rabbits were terrified, not knowing what this noise
could be, and at once made off as fast as their four legs could carry
A fox saw them fleeing and called out, “Why are you flying?” The
rabbits said, “Plop is coming!” When the fox heard this, he immediately
started to flee with them. Next they ran into a monkey, who queried,
“Why are you in such a hurry?”
“Plop is coming!” replied the fox. So the monkey also joined in their
Thus the news spread from mouth to mouth until a deer, a pig, a
buffalo, a rhinoceros, an elephant, a black bear, a brown bear, a
leopard, a tiger and a lion were all running away, helter-skelter.
They had no thought at all, except to fly. The faster they ran, the
more frightened they became.
At the foot of the hill there lived a lion with a great long mane.
When he caught sight of the other lion running he roared to him,
“Brother, you have claws and teeth and you are the strongest of all
animals. Why are you running like mad?”
“Plop is coming!” the running lion panted.
“Who's Plop? Where is he?” the lion with the long mane demanded.
“Well, I don't really know,” he faltered.
“Why make such a fuss then?” the long-maned lion went on. “Let's find
out what it is first. Who told you about it?”
“The tiger told me.”
The inquisitive lion with the long mane asked the tiger, who said
that the leopard had told him, so the lion turned to the leopard, and
the leopard answered that he had heard it from the brown bear. The
question was passed on to the brown bear, who said he had heard it from
the black bear. In this way, the black bear, the elephant, the
rhinoceros, the buffalo, the pig and the deer were all asked, one by
one, and each of them said he was told by someone else. Finally it came
down to the fox's testimony, and he said, “The rabbits told me.” Then
the lion went up to the rabbits, who squeaked in chorus:
“All six of us heard this terrible Plop with our own ears. Come with
us, we'll show you where we heard him.”
They led him to the forest, and pointing at it, they told the lion,
“The terrible Plop is there.”
Just at this moment another big fruit fell from the tree and dropped
into the water with a deep “plop!”
The lion sneered.
“Now, look, all of you!” he said. “You've all seen what that plop is.
It's only the sound of a fruit dropping into the water. What is so
terrifying about that? You almost ran your legs off!”
They breathed a sigh of relief. The panic was all for naught.