The Turtle and the Hare
A fable by Aesop
Once there was a hare who thought he was the fastest animal in the forest. He hopped around the forest teasing other animals who were slower than him. He made fun of the birds, mice, and bears. He teased the animals saying, “Ha ha, you are so slow!”
Then the hare teased the turtle. “Ha ha! You are the slowest animal in the forest!” The wise turtle did not like the hare’s teasing. He said, “I will race you. If I win, you must stop teasing.” The hare teased more, “Ha! You win a race? Impossible! But I will run to show all the animals how fast I am.”
So, the animals prepared for a race. All the animals of the forest came to see the turtle and the hare race. They thought that the hare would win, but they liked the turtle. The turtle just wanted to stop the hare’s teasing.
Finally, a shot went off and the race began. The hare ran as fast as the wind. But the turtle began walking. He could not run, but he walked and walked. He refused to give up. “If I keep walking, I can win,” thought the wise turtle.
The hare ran and ran. He ran very quickly, but he got tired. It was very hot, so the hare decided to take a rest by a tree. “I can rest. I am faster than the turtle and he can never run faster than me. I have time for a little sleep.”
The hare slept by the tree. The wise turtle continued and did not stop. He was not as tired and he did not need to sleep. He walked and walked and he walked past the tree where the hare was sleeping.
The turtle walked right past him. He was about to cross the finish line. Suddenly, the hare heard “Yeah! The turtle will win!” The animals were cheering for the turtle. The hare jumped up and ran and ran. He was furious at himself for sleeping. He ran to the finish line, but it was too late. The turtle crossed the finish line first.
The embarrassed hare said, “Turtle, you are slow but steady. You won the race. I promise I will not tease anymore.” Now, hare runs silently.