The Tortoise and the Hare
One bright, sunny morning a
tortoise–we shall call him Mr Tortoise–
was taking a walk when suddenly he
met a hare. Now he did not like this
hare at all, for he was very sarcastic,
and always laughed at the tortoise.
Nevertheless, the tortoise smiled and
greeted him, "Good morning, Mr Hare.
How are you?"
The hare did not answer, but as
soon as he saw the tortoise, he began
to laugh very loudly.
"Oh, oh. I can't help laughing at
you, Mr Tortoise!"
"Why, what's so funny?"
"You! You are so slow, Mr
"Me? Slow? Who says I'm slow?"
asked the tortoise.
"I do," answered the hare. "With
those funny legs of yours you certainly
can't run, you can only walk."
"But there's nothing the matter
with my legs."
"Well, I don't know whether one
can call them legs or not. They're
so short and look so funny. I don't
understand how you can get about at
The tortoise got very angry, but
he just smiled. He walked on saying,
"Goodbye, Mr Hare. See you again."
"Wait a moment, Mr Tortoise.
Where do you think you're going?"
"I'm just taking a walk."
"Oh? You certainly can't walk very
far, though, can you?"
Hearing this the tortoise became
angrier still, but he pretended to be
"Look," he said, "why don't you
stop teasing me and making fun of me?
I'm sure I can run as fast as you can."
At this the hare laughed so loudly
that he was unable to answer the
"You? As fast as me? Poor Mr
Tortoise, don't you know that I'm the
fastest creature in the forest?
"We shall see," said the tortoise. "I
have a good plan. Do you see that tree
over there on the top of the hill?"
"Yes, I do."
"Now, let's have a race and see
which of us can reach that tree first. It's
a very long way off, but it will prove
which of us can run the faster."
The hare stopped laughing and
asked, "Are you serious, Mr Tortoise?"
"Of course I am," answered the
tortoise. "Let's begin the race right
One, two, three! The tortoise and the
hare were off. Of course the tortoise was
quickly left far behind by the hare.
When the hare had run for about
half an hour he thought, "I think I will
just lie down here to rest a while. I've
made myself tired running so fast.
Anyway, it will take a very long for the
tortoise to get here. I can't even see him.
When he comes, I will jump up and run
away from him again. What a fool Mr
Tortoise is to have a race with me, the
fastest creature on legs!"
So the hare lay down to rest, and
soon was fast asleep. He slept for hours
and hours! And he did not hear the
tortoise passing quietly.
It was already late in the afternoon
when the hare woke up.
"Goodness!" he cried out. "It's
nearly dark! Where's Mr Tortoise?"
He looked up towards the hill and
saw the tortoise, very far off and very
"Mr Tortoise can be only a few
metres from the tree by now! I must
And the hare started to run just as
fast as he could go. He ran and ran with
all his might to get to the tree first. Ten
minutes more! Three minutes more...
two minutes more... one minute...
thirty seconds... ten second... three...
two... one! At that moment the tortoise
reached the tree! And so he was the first
to arrive at the tree! The hare was late...
only one second!
Ashamed, tired and very exhausted
because of running so very fast, the
hare rolled over on the ground and