Once upon a time, a Tiger and a Rabbit fell in love.
“Rabbit, I love you so much,” said Tiger. “I want to eat you up whole, so you will always be a part of me.”
“Tiger, I love you so much,” said Rabbit. “ I want you to chase me forever, so I will always feel wanted by you.”
And so around and around they ran, day and night, much to their own frustration and much to the frustration of the other animals of the forest.
After nine years of the ceaseless chase, the other animals of the forest begged the Jade Emperor to intervene.
“Tell me Tiger and Rabbit,” said the Jade Emperor, as the two animals quivered before him, after answering his summons. “Why, year after year, do you endlessly chase each other in noisy frustration, disturbing all the animals of the forest?”
“I love Rabbit so much, I won’t be happy until he is a part of me forever,” said Tiger.
“I love Tiger so much, I won’t be happy unless I always feel him seeking me out,” said Rabbit.
“Very well,” replied the Jade Emperor. “Rabbit, I will cut off your foot, so Tiger can always have a part of you. Tiger, I will blind you, so rabbit will always feel you seeking him out.”
“I won’t be able to run,” said Rabbit.
“How will I hunt,” said Tiger.
The Jade emperor replied, “you must each give up a bit of yourself for the sake of harmony.”
Understanding for the first time that there is more to love than desire and it’s satisfaction, Tiger and Rabbit replied in unison, “There must be some other way!”
“Very well”, replied the Jade emperor. He plucked two hairs from each of their tails and he fashioned two rings, using hair from both animals in each ring.
“Tiger, you must trust that Rabbit will always be with you, even if he is not always near you. Rabbit, you must trust that Tiger will always want you, even if he does not always chase you.’ The Jade Emperor held out the rings, which had turned into gold in his hands. “You will give each other these rings, as a symbol of your trust, and you will wear them, as a symbol of your promise to honour that trust.”
Tiger and Rabbit exchanged the rings and they forever after honoured the promise that their rings symbolized. Rabbit often nestled close to Tiger, when he would rather run, and Tiger often encouraged Rabbit to run, when he’d rather hold him close.
And they lived happily ever after.