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How The Terrapin Beat The Rabbit


Source: Indian Legends Retold

The Terrapin once challenged the Rabbit to a race, which the latter
regarded as a joke.

"The Terrapin is doubtless a wit," said he, "and a great warrior as
well, but every one knows that he cannot run. I shall give him a big
handicap, and even then I cannot help beating him."

The course lay over four ridges, and the Rabbit told the Terrapin to
go ahead to the top of the first ridge, so that when the signal to
start was given he was already out of sight.

When the Rabbit reached the top of the first ridge, he was surprised
to catch a glimpse of the Terrapin almost at the top of the second. He
ran faster, and as his rival was soon hidden in the long grass, he saw
nothing more of him till he was mounting the second ridge, and there
was the Terrapin already passing the third. When the Rabbit with great
leaps ascended the third ridge, behold! the Terrapin was about to
cross the fourth, and the next minute he had won the race.

This is the way it was done. The Terrapin had several friends who
looked exactly like himself, so he stationed one of them at the top of
each of the first three ridges, with orders to hide in the long grass
as soon as the Rabbit came near. He himself stayed at the fourth rise
until his competitor came in sight, when he crept over it and so came
out ahead.

Next: How The Turkey Got His Beard

Previous: The First Strawberry

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