Versus the Five

Five rabbits came before Nin, and each flashed a part of their body.

“I have God’s tooth,” said a large, mean-looking rabbit, “and with it I have killed a thousand enemies.” And as he spoke, Nin could see the gleam of gold protruding from his mouth.

“I have God’s eyes,” said another with a piercing gaze, “none can escape me. I am the tracker of trackers, hunter of hunters, and will chase you to the cliffs at the end of the world, if need be.”

Nin stood his ground. Behind him, his countrymen gathered.

Seeing this, another rabbit presented itself. “I am God’s strength,” said the rabbit, “and each of my claws can tear apart stone and brick and steel—and I have many claws indeed.” And Nin observed that it was so.

“I have God’s wisdom,” said a fourth rabbit with a high-pitched cry, “I know all the ways in which rabbits can bleed or know pain. Many of my enemies have thrown themselves to their deaths, rather than feel my touch.”

Nin did not flinch at these words, but furrowed his eyes and frowned, disgusted by such threats. And behind him the burrow grew thick with his comrades, each reared tall, displayed their might; prepared for battle in the name of their prince.

At last, the leader of the five, Nin’s true enemy—a giant pale rabbit—came forwards, and proclaimed in a hushed voice: “I am God himself. There is a divine spark within me, and it has nourished me, and made me great, and better than all others. Tremble before me, for I am peerless.”

“What has God blessed upon you?” asked the rabbit with the piercing gaze. “Are you strong in tooth or claw like my brothers? Have you eyes like mine, or a mind like my sister’s?”

“I have none of these gifts,” replied Nin. “I am a poor rabbit, not fit to be a prince, or a leader. Perhaps God has neglected me, or I have displeased him in some way.”

Then Nin said: “but still, I will fight with what I have.”

“And what do you have?” asked the rabbit who claimed God’s strength.

“Friends,” said Nin, and—the signal given—his comrades in their thousands descended upon the five, and tore them asunder. They won through sheer force of number.

Later, it was often said in whispers and in legends and in the bedtime stories the old would tell the young, that the prince was God’s voice, and on that day in the burrow he had called upon all the rabbits in the world to fight, and do his bidding.