The Tortoise and Hare Revisited
One sunny spring day, young Mr. Hare hopped along the mountain trail leading to the Great Pond. Merrily, he spotted Mr. Squirrel ahead. Quietly, he bounced up behind the squirrel and stomped the ground. Dust rose from the trail.
“Great Scott!” Mr. Squirrel jumped, falling into a muddy ditch.
“No, just Jimmy. Jimmy the Jackrabbit. See my dust?” Mr. Hare darted away, laughing. “‘Cause you’re tasting it!”
“Good riddance,” fussed Mr. Squirrel, while cleaning mud from his fur.
Continuing down the trail, Mr. Hare saw old Mr. Tortoise not far ahead.
“Look at that old bugger,” the rabbit beamed, pawing the trail, hopping over boulder and brush. Jimmy grinned mischievously, wiggling his big left furry toe.
Mr. Tortoise had been moving along at a good clip, round one hill and struggling up another, following the mountainous trail to the Great Pond.
“Out of my way,” Mr. Hare ordered. He slapped Mr. Tortoise across the face with his left foot, wiggling his big toe for a departing good-bye. Spinning around the turtle, he sped up the trail toward the big pond.
“You little hooligan!” shouted Mr. Tortoise, spinning to a stop in the dust. He started up the trail, realizing it was the wrong way, and turned about. “Wait up, slowpoke.”
“What?” Mr. Hare exclaimed in disbelief. “Why, I could outrun you with one leg behind my back.” He hopped over to the turtle.
“Yeah, right.” Mr. Tortoise hobbled over to the cliff and the distant pond far below. The turtle cranked out his thick, leathery gray neck and sniffed the water and cool shade below. “How about a little race, slowpoke?”
“Where too?” The rabbit slapped the turtle with his left foot, wiggling his toe.
“Stop that. First one to the pond wins,” Mr. Tortoise challenged the hare.
“You’re on!” Mr. Hare raced down the steep slope, stopping inches short of the pond. He turned and waved to the tortoise at the edge of the steep slope.
The young hare hopped back up the hill, bouncing to a stop in front of Mr. Tortoise. “Why did you even try? I’ve already won. I always win,” he boasted.
“You didn’t touch the water,” Mr. Tortoise protested, leaning over the steep slope.
“Is that all? I’ll show you.” Mr. Hare hopped back down the slope.
Mr. Tortoise rolled over onto his side, speeding down the slope; he ran over Jimmy’s big left toe and broke it. Tumbling past the hare, the tortoise slammed into the water. Splashing water into Jimmy the Jackrabbit’s face, the tortoise floated away.
“Ouch!” The hare shook off the water and grabbed his big left toe, hopping away.
“I guess always isn’t what it used to be!” Mr. Tortoise reflected, squirting water in the rabbit’s face. “Because I do believe I won!”
“I get the point,” Mr. Hare conceded, limping away.