How Brother Rabbit Ran A Race
One day Brother Rabbit was running down the road, and he met old Brother Terrapin. They talked a little; and Brother Rabbit thanked Brother Terrapin for his help at Mrs. Meadows' house, when he fell from the shelf and knocked Brother Fox on the head.
Then Brother Terrapin said:
"Oh, that's nothing. Only it's a pity that you didn't catch him when he ran away. He ran so fast that you couldn't catch him. I'm sorry I didn't run after him myself."
"What do you mean?" said Brother Rabbit. "I don't understand you. I can run faster than Brother Fox, and of course faster than you. I didn't run after Brother Fox because I couldn't leave Mrs. Meadows and the girls alone."
"I can run much faster than you, Brother Rabbit," said Brother Terrapin.
"No, you can't," said Brother Rabbit.
Then Brother Terrapin said:
"I have fifty dollars at home in the chimney, and I bet it that I can beat you in a race."
"You have fifty dollars? Well, I can find fifty dollars too."
So they brought the money and gave it to old Brother Buzzard whom they asked to be the judge. They measured a distance of five miles and put up a mile-post at the end of every mile.
Brother Rabbit decided to run down the big road, and Brother Terrapin decided to gallop through the woods. Mrs. Meadows and the girls and all the neighbours gathered at the finish, and Judge Buzzard stood at the start,
Brother Rabbit came with ribbons around his neck. Brother Terrapin was also ready for the race, but he did not tie any ribbons around his neck. He prepared for the race in another way.
Brother Terrapin had a wife and four children, and all the family looked so much alike that nobody could tell them from one another. And so, before the beginning of the race, the old woman hid in the bushes near the start, the four children hid near the four mile-posts, and Brother Terrapin himself hid near the finish.
When the time came, Judge Buzzard pulled out his watch and cried out:
"Gentlemen, are you ready?"
Brother Rabbit said "yes!" and old Sister Terrapin cried out "yes!" from the edge of the wood. Brother Rabbit started down the road and old Sister Terrapin crawled away to her home. Judge Buzzard rose into the air and flew along the road to see that everything was fair.
When Brother Rabbit ran up to the first mile-post, one of Brother Terrapin's children
crawled out of the wood and came up to tm?
Brother Rabbit did not see him at first and cried out:
"Where are you, Brother Terrapin?"
"I am here," answered the Terrapin.
Brother Rabbit was glad that he was in front and he ran faster than before, and the Terrapin crawled home.
When Brother Rabbit came to the next mile-post, another Terrapin crawled out of the woods.
"Where are you, Brother Terrapin?" said Brother Rabbit.
"I am here!" said the second Terrapin. Then Brother Rabbit came to the next mile-post, and there was the Terrapin again. He came to the fourth mile-post, and the Terrapin was already waiting for him there. Brother Rabbit had to run one mile more, and he was getting tired. By and by old Brother Terrapin looked down the road and saw Judge Buzzard. It was time -to go to the finish. So he crawled out of the woods, made his way through the crowd, came to the last mile-post and crawled behind it.
Soon Brother Rabbit ran up. He stopped at the finish, looked around and did not see Brother Terrapin. Then he cried out:
"Give me the money, Brother Buzzard! Give me the money!"
Then Mrs. Meadows and the girls began to
laugh, and old Brother Terrapin came out and said:
"If you give me time to catch my breath, I shall take that money myself!"
And he tied the purse around his neck and went home.