The Spirit of Naga, the mother of rabbits, had been a distant mystery since any living rabbit could remember. Even Old Mingzhi, the oldest and wisest rabbit in the warren could only tell the stories. Diandian, a young buck yearling loved spending the twilight hours listen to Mingzhi’s tales.
One evening Diandian and several young rabbits from the warren had gathered around Old Mingzhi eager for a story time. The old rabbit looked at the youngsters sternly and said in his warm authoritative voice ‘Tonight, my kittens, I will tell you about Hui, one of the first children of Naga.’
‘In days long gone when Naga still lived with the rabbits of the warrens, she had many children. One of her sons was Hui. A wild, self-willed rabbit who never took advice.’
‘So, it happened, on a late summer evening as the twilight began Naga brought her family out of the warren to feed and play. As always, she warned her children to be watchful for Kiacot the falcon was always somewhere about, and he was partial to rabbit for supper.’
‘Naga watched with the other mother rabbits as their children played at the edge of the field, close to the blackberry bushes that hid the warren entrance. All except Hui, he was off chasing butterflies. Naga watched as butterflies scattered in all directions and shook her head. There was no hiding her son’s presence in the field, but it was quiet with no sign of Kiacot.’
‘The pleasant summer gathering of chatting and playing was interrupted by the screeching from the sky. Young rabbits rushed into the bushes for safety with their mothers shepherding them into the warren. Naga looked at her children in their burrow and realised Hui was missing. She rushed to the surface and saw a chaos of feather and fur where Hui had been playing.’
Mingzhi turned to the young rabbits ‘take heed, young ones’ he said earnestly ‘the Spirit of Naga protects us but warns us there is always danger to look out for.’
©JG Farmer 2018