Many years ago, an elderly traveller was walking through the woods, where he met Fox, Monkey, and Rabbit, whom he asked for some food.
Monkey climbed a tree and brought him some fruit. Fox went to a stream and brought back a fish. Rabbit had nothing to offer him but some grass. So he asked the man to build a fire. After the fire was started, Rabbit jumped into it and offered himself as a meal for the man to eat.
At once, the traveller threw off his cloak, revealing himself to be the revered Jade Emperor. He pulled Rabbit from the fire, deeply touched by his selfless sacrifice. ‘You are most generous, Rabbit,’ he said, ‘but don’t do anything to harm yourself. For your kindness, I can grant you eternal life on the moon.’ And so the Emperor carried Rabbit in his arms, to live in peace and plenty.
Thus the legend of the Jade Rabbit was born, a generous guardian watching over our nights.