The Moon Rabbit folklore is based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the Moon as a rabbit. The story exists prominently in East Asian folklore and Aztec mythology. In East Asia, it is seen pounding in a mortar and pestle, but the contents of the mortar differ among Chinese, Japanese, and Korean folklore.
Mythology and Folklore Readings: Myth-Folklore Unit: Jataka Tales (Shedlock). This selection of jataka tales, or "birth stories" of the Buddha, is taken from Shedlock's Eastern Stories and Legends, with a focus on distinctively Buddhist teachings. You will learn how the Buddha was re-born as a hare whose self-sacrifice is the origin of the "hare in the moon," and you will also read the famous Buddhist legend of Kisagotami, a woman overwhelmed by grief at the death of her only child.
Mythology and Folklore Readings: Myth-Folklore Unit: Brer Rabbit. Joel Chandler Harris's series of books of Brer Rabbit tales (almost two hundred stories in total) is one of the most important resources we have for African-American folklore study. Harris tells the stories in dialect, so make sure you read the stories out loud (or listen to the free audio version from LibriVox) to get the full effect.
Mythology and Folklore Readings: Myth-Folklore Unit: Sioux Legends. The legends in this unit come from books by two Sioux authors, both women, writing in the early years of the 20th century: Marie McLaughlin (Myths and Legends of the Sioux) and Zitkala-Sa (Old Indian Legends). Many of the stories are about the trickster figure and culture-hero called "Spider," Iktomi (Unktomi, Ictinike), and there are also stories about the trickster Rabbit too.
Mythology and Folklore Readings: Brer Rabbit: How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp for Mr. Fox. This is the famous story of Brer Rabbit fooling Mr. Fox so that he throws Brer Rabbit into the brier-patch... just like Brer Rabbit wants him to do!