The Tortoise and the Hare
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The Tortoise and the Hare had a great debate
one hot summer-day about who could win a
race. The Tortoise never gave it much thought,
but the Hare was taunting him and what could
"Laugh at me if you will, but you will see", he
thought to himself. The Hare chuckled at the
thought on that lazy day: the outcome was
certain. A tortoise in a race? How silly! In
fact, he thought the whole idea was so silly
that he rolled and rolled and rolled with
laughter. He really enjoyed a good joke
at someone else's expense.
The Tortoise thought it no funny matter and
looked askance at the Hare for no one ever
laughed at the Tortoise in that way; he was
just too independent and self-contained with
his shell and all. But that is what all the ani-
mals who came by did. This only made the
proud and independent tortoise all the more
determined to win the race knowing who
laughs last, laughs best.
The Hare liked to hop about here and there
never really going anywhere, but always
out of breath and in a hurry.
The hilarity of it all created such a fuss and
attracted so much attention that the Hare
had to accept to run the race though he was
tired from laughing so very much in the mid-
day sun for surely he had won the race be-
fore it even had started. The thought made
him so very tired that he knew he needed
The Fox and the Owl were among the animals
who came to watch the display and joined in
the laughter. But the Owl could see how the
pigheaded Tortoise could win this race for
he knew him well and mentioned it to the
Fox. "Not a chance!" howled the Fox. The
Owl blinked his disapproval at the Fox's
rashness for he knew that what seems ob-
vious might not always turn out to be that
obvious in the end and therefore, said:
"Let's wait and see." And so you see an
owl is truly wise. :-)
Then came shouts of go! go! go! The course
was laid out: through the trees into the clearing,
over the hill, around the field, and back along
the fence to the cart.
The Hare made a dashing sprint with much
bravura, but once everyone was out of sight
he felt he just had to eat and rest at least a
bit and unfortunately fell asleep.
Meanwhile the Tortoise slowly, but surely
made his way past the Hare and wished
him a splendidly long sleep. The animals
along the way kept track of the progress
of each one. News of who had won was
late in coming. What had gone wrong?
"The Hare is a slacker", they started to
say and "It is doubtful now that he'll win
the day: yet, he's so fast and an obvious
winner", they remarked.
But who was the first to cross the winner's
line? The Tortoise and not the Hare who
was seen playing catch-up at the last
minute and cried out from afar: "NOT
FAIR, NOT FAIR!" And everyone present
roared with laugher as the Hare came
darting from behind. But it was too late.
His chum who had set up the race had
won by a little more than a hair, but he
"Now, you see", hooted the Owl to the Fox,
"the outcome is never obvious to anyone."
The Owl meant his comment to be a war-
ning for the Fox was known to like to take
chances unnecessarily and surely would
lose his prized tail one day because every-
one knows a fox can be outfoxed in the end.
This version of La Fontaine's Aesop's Fable
was adapted by Kenneth Selin.