1.  Tale of Vulture Duping Elephant

In the distant past, there was once a vulture king who had a powerful army of warriors at his command. One night that vulture king dreamt in his sleep that he had captured the white elephant king. The next day, he sent his warriors to the realm of the white elephant king, and upon reaching their destination they called to the elephant king saying, “Brother Elephant! Our master has ordered you to immediately come with us to our domain because our master understands his dream to mean that he should eat your flesh.” Upon hearing these words, Elephant became startled and frightened. He cried as he bid farewell to his wife and children, and followed the warriors as ordered by the vulture king.
      Midway through their journey, they came upon a wise rabbit judge who asked the elephant king, “Yeh! Where are you going, Brother Elephant, that you should be in such a rush and weeping uncontrollably as you go?” Elephant replied telling Judge Rabbit his ordeal. “Ye! Brother Elephant, as large as you are, why do you freely agree to permit yourself to be eaten by a vulture? I will help release you from your suffering so that you may be free to live,” said Rabbit. The elephant king, hearing Rabbit speak thusly, became very happy and invited Rabbit to ride on his back as they walked toward the dominion of the vulture king.
      Upon seeing Elephant’s arrival, the vulture king became very gleeful and giddy and exclaimed, “Ey! Brother Elephant has finally arrived! We must eat you this day because we understand our dream to say that we should eat your flesh.” As Vulture spoke to Elephant, Rabbit acted as if he were asleep on top of Elephant. The vulture king then looked up at Rabbit and yelled, “Neh! Brother Judge, what are you doing sleeping on Elephant’s back like that? Get down from there quickly, as we are about to eat Elephant.” Rabbit responded saying, “Stop, stop! Not yet! Brother, what did you say to Brother Elephant just now? I did not get to listen because I was too busy sleeping.” Vulture answered, “I had a dream in which I ate white elephant meat.” “Ey! Really,” said Rabbit, “just now as I was asleep I dreamt that I slept with your wife, King Vulture.” “Yuh, Brother Judge! We do not need to give our wife over to you,” said the vulture king.  Rabbit retorted, “If you do not permit me to live out my dream, then your claim is equally unenforceable, and neither will I permit you to eat Elephant.”
      Vulture therefore did not get to eat elephant meat due to his defeat by Judge Rabbit’s clever ruse. White Elephant went ahead and returned to his dominion. Rabbit hopped back into the forest and disappeared.

©2010 Khmer Buddhist Relief