In a far-away village, a little girl lived with her mother and pet rabbit.
The girl was four years old and her name was Maira. She loved the rabbit and took good care of him.
One morning, when Maira woke up, she saw her mother was carrying the rabbit in her lap. “You love it too?” asked Maira.
“Yes,” her mother said. But with a grim face, she told her daughter, “We need to get rid of it. I am sorry, my dear.”
Maira did not like what her mother had just told her, but she knew it was true. She knew this day would come.
“Maira, we are poor and cannot take care of the rabbit. If we keep him, I am afraid your pet might end up starving,” said the mother.
“Can we not give him my share of the food?” asked Maira.
“We, too, are going to starve,” said her mother.
“But we must not let the poor rabbit suffer with us. We haven’t fed him anything for two days.”
Maira was almost on the verge of tears. Her mother took her into her arms and tried to console her.
The next day, they went to the nearby forest and left the rabbit there.
Heartbroken, Maira left the rabbit beside a rock and bid him goodbye.
As they left, the rabbit looked longingly at them, but he knew why they had left him there. The rabbit was somewhat happy as he could find food for himself.
Hours passed, but the rabbit did not move. After some time, he saw a group of wild rabbits pass by.
Seeing him sad and lonely, the wild rabbits asked the reason for his loneliness.
They asked the jungle rabbit to accompany them to their burrow.
“We live here. We are a family. From now on, you are also a part of our family,” said the head of the wild rabbits.
They shared their food with the pet rabbit as there wasn’t enough food for the new member.
“Don’t worry,” the senior rabbit told the pet rabbit. “We all will share from our plates so that you have enough to eat.”
A plate was put before the pet rabbit, but he didn’t eat anything. He was missing his family.
When the wild rabbits asked him why he wasn’t eating, he said: “Now, I know what a family is like. You eat together and you starve together. My family is Maira and her mother. I shall go back home.”
The wild rabbits respected his decision. The pet rabbit ran as fast as he could to meet Maira and her mother.
“You are my family. If I starve, I starve with you. If I eat, I eat with you,” he told them.
The three fell in a long, warm embrace and decided to live together thereafter.