Hares seem to have a prominent place in folk literature. In addition to the Turkish story of The Three Hares that I shared earlier, several of Aesop’s fables use hares as a character – the most famous being The Tortoise and the Hare – and several of the Jataka Tales from India feature hares.
In children’s literature, we see more rabbits than hares – Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny come to mind, as does The Velveteen Rabbit (who starts out as a toy). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll has both the White Rabbit and the March Hare as characters.
How do hares and rabbits differ? They are two different animals. Hares are larger and they have longer ears and legs. They live in open spaces. Rabbits live in burrows underground. You are more likely to see rabbits in your backyard than hares. If you want to see the differences for yourself, search the Internet for photos of hares. You will see it right away. Parents, if you do this with your child, talk about the differences in the pictures. Not only will you spend quality time with your child, they will be learning from you and it will help develop their reading and vocabulary skills! Discerning the differences between two things is an important part of learning to read, and it can help develop critical thinking skills as well.
The hare in this story from India seriously needs to develop critical thinking skills! This story is based on the Jataka Tale “The Sound the Hare Heard” and if you know that story you will see that it is almost the same, and it will remind you of another tale we did recently about a little chicken.