328 THE LITTLE HARE
the middle of the fire, where they crackled and mnde a great noise. Then he called loudly ' Itchi, Itchi! Rabbit, my friend, be quick, be quick! Don't you hear how my skin is crackling ? '
Anc] the rabbit came in a great hurry and pulled him out.
Then the little hare said, ' Now it is your turn ! ' and he threw the rabbit in the fire. The moment the rabbit felt the flames he cried out 'Itchi, Itchi, I am burning; pull me out quick, my friend !'
But the little hare only laughed, and said, ' No, you may stay there! It is your own fault. Why were you such a fool as to let yourself be thrown in ? Did n't you know that fire burns? ' And in a very few minutes nothing was left of the rabbit but a few bones.
When the fire was quite out the little hare went and picked up one of these bones, and made a flute out of it, and sang this song:
Pii, pii, 0 flute that I love,
Pii, pii, rabbits are but little boys.
Pii, pii, lie would have burued me if he could ;
Pii, pii, but I burned him, and lie crackled finely.
When he got tired of going through the world singing this the little hare went back to his friends and entered the service of Big Lion. One day he said to his master, 'Grandfather, shall I show you a splendid way to kill game ? '
1 What is it?' asked Big Lion.
' We must dig a ditch, and then you must lie in it and pretend to be dead.'
Big Lion did as he was told, and when he had lain down the little hare got up on a wall blew a trumpet and shouted —
Pii, pii, all you animals come and see, Big Lion is dead, and now peace will be.
Directly they heard this they all came running. The little hare received them and said, ' Pass on, this way