The hare was known throughout the forest for its strength and speed. Effortlessly, he could cover long distances in a very short time without breaking a sweat.
One day, the hare hobbled past a tortoise that was laboriously making its way through the forest. The hare stopped and started laughing.
“With your short feet and big shell, you are the slowest animal I have ever seen! Take good care you don’t accidentally fall asleep while you’re running!” cheered the hare, holding his belly with laughter.
The tortoise was not swayed by the hare’s words. Slowly, she continued to put one foot in front of the other.
“I really have to look very closely to tell if you are moving or standing on the spot. How long does it take you to walk ten yards? A whole day?” the hare continued to bawl.
That’s when the tortoise stopped. “You go ahead and make fun of me. So far, I’ve always arrived at my destination. And if I think about it carefully, I even think I would beat you in a race,” said the tortoise, smirking.
Hearing this, the hare rolled on the floor laughing. Only after a few minutes did the hare calm down again and agree to the race.
The two quickly agreed on the fox as the referee and met a short time later at the old birch tree, the agreed starting point of the race.
“Whoever arrives first at the big pond has won the race,” the fox announced. “Are you ready? Three, two, one – go!” he shouted and opened the race.
As if struck by lightning, the hare jumped off and hopped away. After a short time he had already covered half the distance. He turned around and found that the tortoise had only advanced a few steps.
“If it’s that easy, I still have enough time to make a short detour to the carrot field,” thought the hare. To the cheers of the watching animals, he hobbled straight to the big field and nibbled a few carrots with relish.
When he got back to the running track after a few minutes, he saw that the tortoise was still near the starting line. With difficulty, it put one foot in front of the other and slowly crawled through the forest.
“Now hurry up!” the hare called to her and turned around. The birds, mice and foxes watching the spectacle cheered the hare on. Prompted by the applause of the audience, the hare performed several tricks and daredevil jumps.
However, the numerous carrots and all the movement had made the hare tired. Therefore, just before the finish line, he lay down in the grass to rest a bit. No sooner had he lain down than he was fast asleep.
Suddenly, he was jolted out of his reverie by loud cheers and applause. He opened his eyes and could hardly believe what he saw. The turtle set foot over the finish line and had won the race.
“Congratulations, dear turtle. You have won the race!” shouted the fox. All the animals of the forest congratulated the turtle and celebrated the incredible victory together with him.
Note: This story is based on Aesop’s fable, written around 600 BC. It was modernized and illustrated by us.
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