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Rated: E · Poetry · Animal · #2238987
The hare's grandson attempts to redeem the family's honor by arranging a 2nd race.

“Though my grandpa’s reputation may be scarred for evermore,
there’s a drove of us descendants with an honor to restore.

“I’m the swiftest, greatest grandson of the hare who lost the race,
and I’ll take on that old tortoise. Any time. Any place.”

The tortoise said, “Why bother? I have nothing else to gain.”
But then Hare invoked his grandpa as he furthered his campaign...

“Oh sure. You’re just afraid you’ll lose. In fact you know you will.
I doubt you’d even beat a sloth. It’s like you’re standing still.”

{Tortoise:} “That mocking might have moved me all those many years ago,
but I ran the race. I conquered. Sorry Son, the answer’s no.”

Now the youngster hopped from left to right, his ears pinned to his head.
He clapped his paws repeatedly, “I can’t give up,” he said.

“I’ll scratch your shell from race day forth if I (not likely) lose.”
The tortoise said, “That’s certainly a prize I can’t refuse.”

They both agreed to Baker’s Street, the next day, eight o’clock.
An unfamiliar site for Hare; the tortoise knew the block.

Hare went to bed at six that night; for him there’d be no napping,
just breaking through the finish tape to lots of cheers and clapping.

At six A.M. the hare set out in search of Baker’s Street;
He skipped his normal breakfast. Too preoccupied to eat.

He strutted up to Tortoise, nodded once, then touched his toes,
followed up with calisthenics, and a made-up yoga pose.

The tortoise simply stood there, gnawing on a piece of hay.
The hare said, “Let’s get started. Beating you is child’s play.”

{Tortoise:} “As I recall your grandpa made a similar remark.”
{Hare:} “No worries Mr. Hardshell since your speed is set in park.”

Mere minutes into racing, with the tortoise out of sight,
the hare said to his stomach, “We have time to get a bite.”

“Two lefts, a right, then left again.” He memorized the route.
He bought a couple carrots then retraced his steps back out.

“Two rights, a left, then right again,” he chanted as he ran.
He stopped in front of Broadway. “This is not where I began!”

He turned. He hopped from street to street, as sweat dripped from his brow.
He shook his fists up to the sky, “This cannot happen now!”

“Getting lost and losing’s even worse than Grandpa’s nap!”
He took a deep and calming breath. He bought a local map.

With bearings straight and hope renewed, the hare precisely charted
the shortest tract to lead him back to where his detour started.

His forefeet barely touched the ground, the tortoise now in view,
but just in front of him there stretched the finish banner too!

{Tortoise thinking:} I keep it slow and steady, like before, then I will win,
and the youngster, like his grandpa, faces scorn from foe and kin.

I slow my pace a little and the lad can take the lead.
My back won’t get its scratches, but they’re not a thing I need.

Then Hare caught up to Tortoise, and with meters left to run,
he lunged ahead. He crossed the line. He shouted, “Yes! I won!”

“Indeed you did,” the tortoise said. “Your grandpa would be proud…
or would he?” asked the master as he walked into the crowd.

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