"Nah nah nah boo boo, I'm faster than you!" shouted Harriet Hare as she sped down the road.
Normally, Timothy Tortoise was a very easy going reptile. He was happy roaming through the forest at his own pace. But the nasty taunts of Harriet Hare were starting to make him angry.
Later that day Timothy finally arrived (last as usual) at the playground by the river. Sure enough, as soon as he arrived, Harriet started teasing him again.
"A heavy green shell and short little feet, you're the slowest guy I ever did meet!", Harriet taunted.
Timothy slowly turned his head to look Harriet straight in the eye, "I am too slow or so you say. To find the truth, let's race today!"
All the animals in the playground gasped. A race? Between Harriet Hare, the fastest runner and Timothy Turtle the last to show up? What an odd thing that would be to watch.
"I'll set up a course for you to race on", offered Freddy the Fox.
Harriet Hare laughed out loud, "A race you want? A race you'll see. I know I'm faster than Timothy!"
And so Freddy the Fox set up a race course all the way from the playground by the river to the big oak tree at the edge of the forest. All of the animals met at the starting line early in the afternoon.
"On your mark..." shouted Freddy.
"Just a minute Freddy," giggled Beatrice the Bear, "um, Timothy hasn't quite made it to the starting line yet."
"I'm fine," smiled Timothy, "I always make it to where I'm headed."
"Get set...Go!" chanted the animals all together.
Harriet Hare was off like a shot. She made it around the corner by the meadow before Timothy even had all of his feet across the starting line.
Freddy the Fox groaned and shook his head. He'd been hoping his friend Timothy would somehow manage to beat Harriet -- she was always such a show off. "Oh well, let's head over to the finish line everyone. If we cut across the meadow maybe we'll manage to get there in time to watch Harriet cross the finish line." Off the animals went, leaving Timothy to slowly make his way down the path Freddy had set as the race course.
Meanwhile, Harriet had run so fast that she could actually see the finish line already. She had to sit down, she was laughing so hard, "I can't believe the nerve of him, to think that he might actually win!"
Harriet gazed over to the finish line and realized that none of the spectators were there yet. "Perhaps I'll rest underneath this tree, so when I win the crowds will see. After all that turtle's slow, he'll take all day to catch up I know."
Harriet lay down and promptly fell asleep.
Timothy made his way down the path along the river, across the meadow and right past the snoozing Harriet. He didn't stop and rest anywhere along the race track.
As Timothy approached the finish line all of the animals began to cheer. Harriet awoke from her nap and ran as fast as she could, but she was too late. Timothy picked his last foot up across the line an instant before she made it there.
Harriet pulled her ears and stomped her feet, "No fair, no fair, no fair, I say! I am the fastest any day."
Timothy smiled and nodded slowly, "It's true I have a slower pace, but
slow but steady wins the race!"
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