by David P. Stern


    The tortoise won and passed the hare
    Who loudly did complain
    "You did not beat me fair and square
    Come, let us race again."

    "If that is what you want to do"
    The tortoise said, "I will."
    "Let's see who's the first one to
    The peak of yonder hill."

    "The animals all came out to see
    And shouted: "Ready? Go!"
    They sent ahead as referee
    An old and trusted crow.

    The hare rushed forward to the lead
    This time he'll win the race!
    The tortoise could not match his speed
    But kept its plodding pace.

    Past rocks, past plants, in swift advance
    The hare went hop, hop, hop
    So sure the tortoise had no chance...
    But oh! He had to stop.

    For right across his path he saw
    A stream both deep and wide;
    The summit where he meant to go
    Was on the other side.

    No bridge was anywhere in sight
    No ford where he could cross
    He searched his left, he searched his right
    And still was at a loss.

    And there he stood as hours passed
    His speed of no avail
    Until the tortoise came at last
    Still plodding down the trail.

    "Hello, hello, my nimble friend
    I wonder why you stopped.
    For I go on, up to the end--"
    And in the stream he plopped.

    The tortoise swam across the creek
    And then his plod resumed
    He slowly climbed the distant peak...
    The hare just cursed and fumed.

    The moral:

    All you young rabbits, rash and strong:
    Avoid a foolish race!
    Old tortoise still can prove you wrong
    And put you in your place.


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Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
     Mail to Dr.Stern:   david("at" symbol) .

Last updated 15 May 2002