… Several days passed after that and still both the king’s sons did not returned home.
By this time, the whole palace was brimming with anxiety over the disappearance of the two princes.
And so it fell upon the youngest brother to seek the missing princes and to find out what had befallen them.
The young Prince had no sooner left the city walls when he encountered the same rabbit. He went at once after the rabbit. But when the rabbit fled into the cave, the young Prince did not follow. He turned around and proceeded to continue with the search for his brothers.
After many fruitless hours spent in the woods, the young Prince found himself near the vicinity of the cave again.
This time, the Prince entered the cave. To his surprise, he found an Old Woman cleaning the cave.
The Prince greeted the Old Woman politely and the Old Woman replied in kind.
He then asked the Old Woman if she had notice a rabbit entering the cave.
The Old Woman answered sadly that she did and informed him that it was not an ordinary rabbit but a dragon in its true form. She told him that the Dragon often transformed itself into a rabbit to lure people into his cave.
Many had fallen to the Dragon’s clutches in this very same way and so she mournfully advised the young Prince to be on his way.
The Prince explained that he was looking for his brothers and that he would not leave without knowing what had befallen to his brethren.
Observing the Old Woman’s bleak countenance, he surmised aloud that she was held against her will to serve the Dragon.
The Old Woman acknowledged woefully that she was indeed taken at an early age from her family to serve the Dragon and had been enslaved to serve the Dragon ever since.
The Prince persuasively told the Old Woman that they could defeat the dragon but only if she would help him. The plan of how to destroy the Dragon would include ferreting out the information of where the Dragon would be most vulnerable, that is, the location where it hid its strength.
When the Dragon had entrusted its great secret with her, the Old Woman was to show her elation by embracing the very spot and kiss it. The Prince said that he will return to find out what happened and thereafter he took his leave.