There was once a young son of a rich family who liked to play outside in his family’s large courtyards. One day, as he and his toy trucks were playing under a tree, a snow leopard crept into the courtyard. She had been held captive by a travelling circus but had recently escaped. She had no idea how to get home, as the poachers had stolen her from the icy mountains several years ago. Tired, lost, and thirsty, the snow leopard heard the splashing of the rich family’s fountain and only stopped by to get a drink. However, the young boy saw the strange animal and started crying. The family and their guards run outside to see what was wrong, and the father demanded that the snow leopard be captured.
The family gathers around to see the newly restrained snow leopard, and seeing it again makes the son resume his wails. Thus, the father demands that the leopard be killed. But none of them had seen this type of animal before, and they were really not sure how to kill it. Some recommended shooting it…but where? Some recommended drowning it…but how? Finally, one guard who particularly feared the cold recommended just taking her up to the icy mountains and leaving her there…it would freeze her to death quickly and leave no blood on their hands nor body to deal with.
The snow leopard had been listening to their discussions and piped up there, “Oh sir! What terrible thing did I do that would be deserving of the icy mountains? Being drowned or shot sound awful, but the mountains! That would be the most terrible thing you could do to me! I would never be able to survive the mountains!”
So naturally, the guardsmen thought that sounded like a great idea, and they promptly arranged to transport the snow leopard into the mountains. They drop her off on the highest, iciest peak, and she quickly bounds away. She laughs to herself as she fluffs up her plush, naturally camouflaged coat and heads back to her old home, “Those people really didn’t know how safe I am in the mountains.”
|Snow Leopard in India (Jammu & Kashmir Wildlife Protection Department, link)|
Author's Note: This was based on the Jakata Tale "How the Turtle Saved His Own Life" which went much the same way, except the subject was a turtle and they decided to throw him in the river, thus saving his life. I wanted to maintain the animal theme but pick something a little more exotic, and once again she used a little reverse-psychology to get herself out of trouble.
Bibliography: Jakata Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt (link)