|There once was a hare who lived in a small village. Often, the Hare would challenge others to races, and he did quite enjoy it. Many people refused repeatedly the Hare's constant demands for a race, and ignored his constant cat calls to them. However, one day a Tortoise wandered into town. The Hare, always quick to the punch, met him quite practically at the edge of the village.
"Well, what do you know," asked the hare. "It seems we got a newcomer to our quaint little village. You know you hafta race to pass through, or live here, duncha?" The tortoise simply looked to the hare, quite polite, and said "Well, I would be pleasured to race you, my good sir."
The Hare smiled his goofy grin, looking at the Tortoise, thinking how easily he could beat such a slow and aged animal. A race was a race, no matter how one-sided to the Hare. "Well then," he said, "meet me over by that rock in the middle of town by four o'clock this evenin'," and with that, he strolled away, quite pleased with himself.
The tortoise began to slowly make his way to the middle of the town. He dawdled, looking at antiques, the restaurants, the monuments, and being quite slow and observant as he had always been in life.
By four o'clock, the tortoise was just coming up on the boulder in the middle of town. It wasn't large, and had an unsightly split down the middle, but was clearly of great import. Why, even the pebbles, and smaller stones that had come from the splitting of the rock were still laying around in the middle. The tortoise simply shook his head at the mess, but said nothing.
Even the town had come out to watch this particular race, although some grumbled and walked away. Many didn't bother looking back. Plenty stayed, knowing that the hare might have fun for once and would leave the rest of them alone He watched as the tortoise dawdled and moved with such a lack of grace that the Hare felt a twinge of guilt for asking the old amphibian to race at all. A few minutes later, the Hare's patience was near its limit as the Tortoise simply hobbled along, making no time, and lost what pity he'd had. There was a white line drawn into the ground, the hare thumping his foot against the ground impatiently as he waited. The tortoise took a good seven minutes to line up with the chalk line. The Hare was feeling close to screaming at the elderly creature to hurry up. The town was watching, the Tortoise knew, as he looked around. A young golden retriever, wearing a police officer's uniform held the starting gun. With a slow, but steady countdown, he went to 1, then pulled the trigger. A loud crack thundered through the air, and the Hare was off. His foot hit a stone, and the hare fell face-first into another. The hare was quickly transported to the hospital to repair his broken front teeth. The tortoise was declared the winner by many with smug looks on their faces, and he continued on his slow, slow journey across the town. The hare stayed in the hospital for many weeks.
Moral of the story? Watch where you step.