21 The tortoise
22 A thin reed survives
23 The lion and the mouse
24 The goat and the lion
25 The mother lion
26 The donkey's shadow
27 The dove and the ant
28 The greedy boy's hand
29 The greedy woman
30 The tricky donkey
Contact and Quick Purchase
21. The Tortoise Outraces the Hare
One day a young hare who almost could fly
Began to make fun when a tortoise crept by:
How slowly you walk! Are you 90 years old?
You're slow as molasses left
out in the cold.
The tortoise looked up with a smile on his face,
Mister Hare, said the Tortoise,
Would you care to race?
What? Race with a tortoise?
said Hare in disgust,
I can run like the wind and leave you in the dust!
Said the owl:
Let's try it! We'll all come to see
If Hare or if Tortoise the swifter one be!
Tomorrow we'll gather along the deer track
And the race will go down to
the river and back.
Next morning the owl gave a hoot as a sign
And the racers took off in the glistening sunshine,
The hare ran halfway and was
laughing and crowing
While poor little tortoise was
still getting going.
Some riverside flowers attracted the hare
So he had quite a mouthful but he didn't care.
Although he got sleepy, he
I can rest
And still come in first in this
But as he was snoozing that tortoise slipped by
Like a slow-motion cloud in the summertime sky,
Laughter exploded when that
To find not the tortoise but HE
was the joke.
MORAL: Slow and steady wins the day.
from the book Prayers and Fables and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary