‘Steady wants to race me? That will be so funny! Yeah, let’s do it.’ Then he ran off.
So the next day, all the animals in the forest came together. They had all heard about the race. They all knew that Speedy would win. But really, they wanted Steady to win, so that Speedy would stop saying how great he was.
‘We don’t have to do this, you know,’ said Speedy to Steady. ‘It’s clear that I will win.’
Steady just smiled. ‘We will see.’
Crush called out the start of the race: ‘Ready, set, go!’
Speedy started running. He quickly moved far ahead of Steady. Steady walked behind him. She walked slow and steady, but not very fast.
‘Come on, Steady!’ called Speedy. ‘Are you even trying?’
She would never win walking so slow and steady. But the other animals were shouting, ‘Come on, Steady! You can do it!’ This made Speedy angry. Steady was going to lose. It was obvious!
So Speedy kept on running. He ran past all the other animals. The race was very long. It went across the whole forest and then back again. So after running for a long time, Speedy was alone. It was very quiet in the forest. He reached the end of the forest, and then turned around.
‘It is such a nice day,’ Speedy said. ‘I have plenty of time. Steady will take hours to get here. Why don’t I have a rest?’
So Speedy lay down on the path and fell asleep.
A few hours later, Speedy woke up. He heard something from the other side of the forest. It was the other animals shouting, ‘Come on, Steady!’
‘That’s strange,’ said Speedy.
So he quickly ran back along the path, as fast as he could. At the other side of the forest, Steady was near the finish line. She was about to win the race!
‘No!’ shouted Speedy. ‘How did you get in front of me?’
He ran after Steady, but Steady crossed the finish line before him. All the other animals shouted, ‘Hooray! Hooray! Steady wins! Speedy loses!’
‘I don’t understand!’ cried Speedy. ‘How did I lose?’
Everyone else was talking about Steady, and saying how great she was. Speedy felt awful.
Gentle came up to Speedy and said, ‘Do you see now? Slow and steady wins the race. And Steady won the race.’
Speedy didn’t want to believe it. But it was true.
Steady came up to Speedy and smiled. ‘Don’t worry, Speedy. I can teach you how to be slow and steady.’
‘Please!’ said Speedy. ‘I want to be the slowest and the steadiest in all the forest!’