Shortly after the exhausted tiger clawed his way to the river bank to claim
third place. Swimming across the river had been an enormous struggle for him
against the strong currents. The Emperor was so delighted with his efforts
that he named the third year after him.
Next to arrive was the rabbit, who hadn't swum across at all. He hopped across
on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried him to the shore.
'I shall be very happy to call the fourth year after you,' the surprised Jade Emperor explained.
Just then a kind dragon swooped down to take fifth place.
'Why didn’t you win the race, as you can fly as well as swim?' the Jade Emperor asked.
'I was held up because some people and animals needed water to drink. I needed to
make some rain,' the dragon explained. 'Then when I was nearly here I saw a poor
little rabbit on a log in the water and I blew a puff of wind so that the log would
float to the river bank.'
'Well that was very kind of you and now you are here you will have the fifth year of
the zodiac named after you.'