The psychoanalyst from Augusto Monterroso's fable of the rabbit and the lion. Painted by Juan Artola Miranda.

The Rabbit & the Lion (Latin American Fable)

The Rabbit and the Lion (El Conejo y el León) is a fable by Augusto Monterroso (1921-2003), often considered the most important modern fabulist. He lived in Guatemala and Honduras before finally settling in Mexico, where, as so often happens here, he died. This is a translation by Juan Artola Miranda.

Slashes made by an enraged barbarian fabulist.

One day, a famous psychoanalyst found himself in the middle of the jungle, somewhat lost. Driven by instinct and a desire for investigation, he easily climbed a very tall tree. From there, he could leisurely observe not only the slow setting of the sun but also the life and habits of the animals, comparing them with those of humans.

As evening fell, he saw a Rabbit appear on one side of his tree and a Lion on the other. At first, nothing noteworthy happened, but shortly afterward, both animals sensed each other’s presence and reacted as they had been doing since the dawn of human history.

The Lion roared, shaking the jungle with its powerful voice, and majestically shook its mane, as was its custom. It clawed at the air with its enormous paws. On the other hand, the Rabbit breathed more rapidly, looked for a moment into the Lion’s eyes, turned around, and ran away.

Upon returning to the city, the famous psychoanalyst published his renowned treatise in which he proves that the Lion is the most childish and cowardly animal in the jungle, whereas the Rabbit is the bravest and most mature. The Lion roars, gestures, and threatens the universe out of fear. Meanwhile, the Rabbit notices this, sees no need to demonstrate its own strength, and retreats before losing patience with that extravagant and out-of-control creature.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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