The Mahatma and the Hare

Author: Henry Rider Haggard

The Mahatma and the Hare

Haggard, H. Rider (Henry Rider), 1856-1925

"Ultimately a good hare was found which took the field at . . .
There the hounds pressed her, and on the hunt arriving at the edge
of the cliff the hare could be seen crossing the beach and going
right out to sea. A boat was procured, and the master and some
others rowed out to her just as she drowned, and, bringing the
body in, gave it to the hounds. A hare swimming out to sea is a
sight not often witnessed."—/Local paper, January/ 1911.

". . . A long check occurred in the latter part of this hunt, the
hare having laid up in a hedgerow, from which she was at last
evicted by a crack of the whip. Her next place of refuge was a
horse-pond, which she tried to swim, but got stuck in the ice
midway, and was sinking, when the huntsman went in after her. It
was a novel sight to see huntsman and hare being lifted over a
wall out of the pond, the eager pack waiting for their prey behind
the wall."—/Local paper, February/ 1911.


The author supposes that the first of the above extracts must have impressed him. At any rate, on the night after the reading of it, just as he went to sleep, or on the following morning just as he awoke, he cannot tell which, there came to him the title and the outlines of this fantasy, including the command with which it ends. With a particular clearness did he seem to see the picture of the Great White Road, "straight as the way of the Spirit, and broad as the breast of Death," and of the little Hare travelling towards the awful Gates.

Like the Mahatma of this fable, he expresses no opinion as to the merits of the controversy between the Red-faced Man and the Hare that, without search on his own part, presented itself to his mind in so odd a fashion. It is one on which anybody interested in such matters can form an individual judgment.


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Chicago: Henry Rider Haggard, "The Mahatma and the Hare," The Mahatma and the Hare, ed. Macaulay, G. C. (George Campbell), 1852-1915 and trans. Evans, Sebastian in The Mahatma and the Hare Original Sources, accessed July 15, 2020,

MLA: Haggard, Henry Rider. "The Mahatma and the Hare." The Mahatma and the Hare, edited by Macaulay, G. C. (George Campbell), 1852-1915, and translated by Evans, Sebastian, in The Mahatma and the Hare, Original Sources. 15 Jul. 2020.

Harvard: Haggard, HR, 'The Mahatma and the Hare' in The Mahatma and the Hare, ed. and trans. . cited in , The Mahatma and the Hare. Original Sources, retrieved 15 July 2020, from