Home Tales from the Grimm Brothers
Once upon a time a lion decided to go to war. He summoned his ministers, and called together his army with this proclamation: "King Lion commands that all animals in the forest must come before him tomorrow to go to war. Nobody must fail to appear."
The lion's subjects all presented themselves punctually and the lion issued the orders: "Elephant, you're the largest, you'll transport the guns and all the supplies. You, fox, have a reputation for cunning, so you'll help me draw up the plans of battle to beat off enemy attacks. You, monkey, nimble and good at climbing trees, will act as lookout and spy the enemy's movements from above. Bear, you're strong and agile, so you'll scale the fortress walls and terrorize the enemy."
Amongst those present were also the rabbit and the donkey. When the king's ministers saw them, they shook their heads, then one said: "Sire, I don't think the donkey will make a good soldier. They say he is easily frightened."
The lion looked at the donkey, then turning to his ministers, he remarked:
"He brays louder than I can roar. He'll stay at my side and be the trumpet that will rally the troops."
The ministers then pointed to the rabbit: "He's even more nervous than the donkey. We should send him home!"
Again the lion stood thoughtfully for a moment, then going over to the rabbit he said: "You always flee from your enemies, so you've learned that you have to be faster than the others if you're to survive. So you'll act as messenger, and within seconds, all the soldiers will receive my orders."
Then, turning to the crowd, he said: "Everyone can make himself useful in a war; everyone can help the common cause at best he is able!"