The White Rabbit


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A folk tale written by Friends of African Village Libraries. This is a good example of an African Folktale for a Books in Africa Workshop. This is also a good example of how to breakdown a story by page for the workshop, in order to assign students a page to illustrate.

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The White Rabbit

  1. 1. The White Rabbit Story originally told by, Alex Winter-Nelson Written by, Friends of African Village Libraries Below is an example African Folktale and page breakdown layout to assist you in planning a Books in Africa Workshop: 1. All the grown-ups of the village were preparing to leave. They were getting the horses ready for the long trip into the bush. They were going to hunt the white rabbit. The white rabbit would grant one wish to the person who caught it! 2. The elders said Hanna and Kofi were too young to go on the hunt. 3. Hanna and Kofi begged and begged. After a few days, the chief finally agreed. Kofi and Hanna could go on the hunt. But they had to stay at the camp and watch the horses. Kofi and Hanna happily agreed to watch the horses. They just wanted to be a part of the great hunt! 4. The day of the hunt came and those on the hunt hiked out into the bush. After walking for two days, the elders set up camp and let the horses graze. In the morning, the hunt would begin. The chief reminded Hanna and Kofi, “You children have a special job to take care of the horses. Do your job well and make us proud.” 5. That next morning, the grown-ups left for the hunt. Kofi and Hanna stayed behind to watch the horses and make sure they stayed close and had food and water. 6. In the afternoon, Kofi suddenly saw something. “Hanna, look!” he cried. Hanna looked where Kofi was pointing. It was the white rabbit! “The white rabbit! We must trap it!” The rabbit did not notice the two of them and
  2. 2. was eating some grass. 7. Kofi and Hanna tiptoed back to the tent to plan the capture. “Kofi. Let us gather some sticks for you to make the trap. While you make the trap, I will get carrots to lure the white rabbit.“ 8. Hanna went out to find some sticks in the forest. Kofi was good at making traps and got to work. Hanna chopped up some carrots they had brought for the horses. 9. The sun was setting and Hanna wanted to make sure the rabbit would stay around through the night. She snuck close to the bush and sprinkled some carrots at the edges. She saw the white rabbit sniffing the air. They would need to work quickly and quietly. [A horse is walking away.] 10. Night came and went, and the sun rose. Kofi had stayed up all night perfecting his trap. It was ready. Kofi and Hanna were very excited. Kofi set the trap just outside camp. Hanna made a trail of carrots to the trap. 11. Hanna and Kofi climbed up a tree and watched. Hours passed and the sun grew hot. [A horse is walking away.] 12. Late in the afternoon Kofi pinched Hanna. Hanna looked and saw the flash of the white rabbit’s tail as it hopped out of a bush. The rabbit found the trail and began nibbling on a carrot. The white rabbit’s two ears twitched left and right. With one carrot eaten, the rabbit hopped to the next one and began munching away. 13. Kofi moved to get a closer look. His foot slipped and a small branch snapped making a loud crack. The white rabbit was startled and darted away. “Hush!” whispered Hanna, “You have scared the rabbit away!” Kofi was upset. He looked at Hanna and cried, “He will come back. He must!” 14. When the children awoke in the morning they checked their trap and freshened the trail of carrots. They gathered grass also for the rabbit.
  3. 3. This time they hid in some nearby bushes. 15. After many hours, the white rabbit appeared. He nibbled on some carrots and came closer and closer to the trap. Kofi and Hanna held their breath as the white rabbit hopped up to the second to last carrot. The rabbit’s nose was twitching and he glanced at the last carrot right above the trap. 16. He hopped and within five seconds the white rabbit was trapped! 17. “We caught the white rabbit! We caught the white rabbit!” Chanting with joy, Hanna and Kofi could not believe what had happened. Hanna yelled, “The elders are going to be so proud of us! Imagine that! Our first hunt and we captured the white rabbit. I cannot wait to see the looks on their faces.” 18. The next morning they had barely slept. They both heard the footsteps coming from the bush. They looked at each other and smiled, “The grown-ups are back!” 19. “Guess what? Guess what?” They both screamed. The elders, weary from their travel, looked at the two of them inquisitively. Bursting with pride, Hanna announced, “We caught the white rabbit!” 20. The hunters looked at Hanna and Kofi and said, “That is wonderful. Good for you children.” 21. But then the chief looked around. He asked, “Hanna and Kofi, it is good that you have caught the white rabbit. But, I asked you to do a special and important job… where are the horses?” 22. Hanna and Kofi look at each other and their smiles immediately dropped. The horses! They had completely forgotten to watch the horses! Their hearts started to race. The horses were gone. 23. Another elder stepped forward and asked, “Have you made your wish
  4. 4. yet?” Kofi and Hanna looking at their feet, mumbled, “We wish we had never caught the rabbit.” 24. Their wish was granted. [Picture of children taking care of horses]