Moon Rabbit Folktale

Moon Rabbit Folktale - moon rabbit

The story of the rabbit and the moon, also known as the “Moon Rabbit,” is a well-known folktale told by various Buddhist cultures. The roots of this tale have been traced to a Buddhist tale, Sasajataka. The story has several iterations, but goes something like this. According to the legend, there was once a monkey, a fox and a rabbit who were all great friends.

One day, the Moon Goddess came down disguised as a beggar. She asked if the animals could bring her some food, promising to reward the animal that brought her the most valuable gift. Generous in nature, the animals worked hard to find the perfect gifts, but the rabbit struggled to find anything worthy of the Goddess.

One night, as the rabbit was looking up at the moon, he had an idea. He decided to offer himself as a gift. He instructed the others to build a fire, and then threw himself upon flame as an offering.

Amazed by the rabbit’s generosity, the beggar transformed back into the Moon Goddess and pulled the rabbit from the fire. To honor the rabbit’s kindness, she places the rabbit’s image on the moon for all to see. The rabbit became the Moon Rabbit, and his image can still be seen in the moon to this day.

The legend of the Moon Rabbit is often used to teach the importance of kindness and selflessness. It is also a reminder that even the smallest and seemingly insignificant creatures can have a great impact on the world.