The Arabesque® Kalila wa Dimna Hare and Elephant Story In Decorative Shadow Box. Kids Decor; Nursery Decor; Classroom Decor; Medieval Art

The Arabesque® Kalila wa Dimna Hare and Elephant Story In Decorative Shadow Box. Kids Decor; Nursery Decor; Classroom Decor; Medieval Art


This shadow box diorama brings several artistic elements together using mixed media to recreate a 14th century manuscript page from the Kalila wa Dimna. The scene which we have recreated is from the story of the Hare and the Elephant. The story is ancient and has it roots in old Indic tales which were brought over to Persia and then translated into Arabic in the eighth century and ninth century by an Abbasid courtier and philosopher named Ibn al-Muqaffa. This particular story celebrates the victory of mind over matter, and wit over strength. The old story is as follows and was then readapted in the Kalila wa Dimna:

Once upon a time, there lived a herd of Elephants in a forest. They were led by their mighty king. The elephants' home was located by a big lake in the middle of a forest. All the forest animals used to go to drink water and to take a bath at this lake. But overtime, the lake dried up. The elephants decided to relocate their home. They found a new home near a large lake which full of water in a far-away jungle.

The King of the Elephants was happy to know that there was a new place that they could make home. He told all the other elephants to go towards the lake. However, there was a colony of rabbits already living at the lake and to make their way there, the elephants would have to cross the rabbit colony.

The elephants made their way and as a result, they crushed the homes of the rabbits under their feet when they marched towards the lake. The king of the rabbits called a meeting to devise a plan to stop the elephants' advance.

The female rabbit named Firouz devised the best plan. She took the king's permission and advanced to the lake to meet the king of the elephants head on. It was hard to get his attention so he climbed on a hill and shouted out to him. When she got his attention, she told the Elephant King that she and her colony of rabbits didn't have the strength to stop the mighty elephant, but the lake had a more powerful being that was more powerful than the elephants.

It was a full moon and the reflection of the moon was shining bright over the water. Firouz told the king of the elephants that if he disrupts the lake by drinking from it or treading over it, the moon, who is more powerful than him and all the elephants, will be mad and seek retribution. As a result, the Elephant King chooses not to disturb the lake and retreats from there to find another place to settle. As a result, because of Firouz's wit, the colony and homes of the rabbits are saved.

The Arabesque put this medieval tale together in the form of a decorative rustic shadow box using mosaics, painting, vintage figurines, and other forms of media to recreate this scene in a home decor piece.

It is truly one-of-a-kind.

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns and exchanges

Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery

I don't accept cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gift wrapping and packaging

Yes. We can gift wrap your purchase for an additional $10.00 service charge. Your gift wrapping is guaranteed to be unique and one of a kind. We use a variety of paper, ribbon, and decorative embellishments to create a very elegant gift wrap. Just let us know in a note at checkout that you would like your gift wrapped and we will create a gift wrapping listing for you in order to bill you for the service.

Custom and personalized orders

We are committed to providing our customers with well thought of and exceptionally made custom and personalized orders. Scroll through our website and our custom products section to get an idea of what you'd like. Anything you see on our website can be reproduced in larger or smaller sizes. We can also make things in the colors that suit you. Contact us and we will get back to you with an idea and proofs that will give you a good idea about what your project will look like.

Wholesale availability

Yes. Wholesale ordering is available. If you need a certain item or design in wholesale quantity we will certainly do that for you with competitive pricing. Please contact us for further details.

Payment options

When you buy through our Etsy shop or at you will be directed to make an Etsy account. Etsy provides a secure platform for checkout and payment and accepts all major credit cards and Paypal. You now also have the option of checking out as a guest.

Legal imprint