The Rabbit and the Tortoise

In the Great Forest, everyone knew a rabbit called Speedy.

Speedy was very fast. He ran every day. He could run from one side of the forest to the other in less than an hour. None of the other animals could run faster than him. So Crush the lion could never catch him, although he tried to.

Because Speedy was the fastest in the forest, he thought he was better than everyone else. He thought that everybody loved him, because they always said how fast he was.

Actually, the other animals didn’t like Speedy very much. The mice didn’t like him, because they thought he was stupid. The foxes didn’t like him, because he didn’t listen to their jokes. The birds didn’t like him, because he was quicker than them. Crush the lion didn’t like him, because Speedy teased him. Speedy ran away from him, shouting, ‘Haha! You can’t catch me!’

There was a tortoise who lived near Speedy. She was called Steady. Steady could only walk very slowly. She did not go from one part of the forest to the other, like Speedy did. Instead, she walked the same way every day. She visited all the other animals, and talked to them. The other animals all loved Steady. She was very kind, and smart as well. All the other animals in the Great Forest learned from her.

Except Speedy. Speedy the rabbit could never stay still long enough to listen to Steady. When Steady started talking to him, Speedy got bored, and ran away.

One day, Steady was talking to Crush the lion and Gentle the mouse. The lion and the mouse were great friends now.

‘We must do something about Speedy,’ said Gentle. ‘He thinks he is the best in all the forest. He is unkind to you, and all the other animals.’

‘Yes,’ said Crush. ‘He always calls me slow and stupid!’

Steady thought for a while, and then spoke. ‘I have an idea. I will challenge Speedy to a race.’

Gentle and Crush didn’t understand. Speedy would definitely win against Steady in a race. But Steady smiled, and said, ‘You must trust me.’

As I said before, Speedy never listened to what Steady said. So Gentle the mouse went and spoke to Speedy for her. It was difficult, because Speedy was always running around. But when Gentle said the word “race”, Speedy started listening.


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