How The Terrapin Beat The Rabbit

: 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
hen 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.