The generally well-known of the Chinese Zodiac Legends says that Buddha or the Jade Emperor invited the animals to take part in a great race contest. The award was a coveted position on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The first 12 animals to cross the river would come into view on the Chinese Zodiac twelve months calendar.
During the legendary race, Rat was the first animal to make it to the finish line according to Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology. It seems doubtful that such a small animal could win the arduous race in competition with other physically powerful animals.
The legend explains that the Rat utilizes his smart brain rather than his brawn. It hitched a ride on what it perceived was the mightiest swimmer. Just before the Ox/Buffalo reached the shoreline, the Rat jumped off the Ox’s back and crossed the finish line; position the Rat in the first place.
The Ox came in second place and as promised in the legends, he was the second to list on the Chinese twelve months calendar. The Tiger, also being strong and powerful, came in third, followed by the fourth animal Rabbit that jumped his way across and was helped during the last stretch by the Dragon (fifth place).
Then the sixth Snake hid in the hoof of the Horse which is how it managed to make it across the river. Before arrive at finish line the Snake jumped out and scared the Horse into seventh place. The Sheep (eighth), Monkey (ninth) and Rooster (tenth) helped one another across and earned their spots on the calendar as well. Follow by the Dog with the position came in eleventh.
Finally, the Boar appeared and is listed last. According to Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology, the Boar feasted and rested half-way through the race.
What is my Chinese Zodiac sign? Find out here.