Down the Rabbit Hole

A collection of fables and fairy tales with a dark twist.

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2. The Rope at the End of the Race

Once upon a time...

In the animal kingdom there lived a Hare who was the fastest in all the land. But the Hare was very proud and wanted to show off so he organised a race. One by one, all the animals raced against him and one by one, they all lost. 

"Is there no one left who can challenge me?" demanded the Hare. No one answered. Then, a small, frail voice spoke up:

"I will race you," said an old Tortoise. The Hare laughed in his face.

"You? Will race against me?" the Hare exclaimed.

"Yes," answered the Tortoise. "I will race you and I will win." 

"Go away, Tortoise," replied the Hare. "You will not win." All the animals laughed at the Tortoise. No one could beat the Hare! 

"Are you scared I'll win?" asked the Tortoise. The Hare could not let the other animals think he was scared and so he agreed to race the Tortoise. The race started and before the Tortoise had gone ten feet, the Hare had hopped out of sight. About half way down the road, the Hare looked back and thought;

"That Tortoise is so slow that I could have a rest right here and still win the race." So the Hare lay down and went to sleep. A little while later, the Tortoise came by. He saw the Hare asleep and smiled to himself before plodding onwards. The Tortoise crossed the finish line before the Hare woke up. But when the other animals saw the Tortoise had completed the race before the Hare, they could not believe it. The Sparrow flew back along the race track to see what had happened to the Hare. The Sparrow saw the Hare asleep on the floor and thought that the Hare was dead. The Sparrow flew back and told all he had seen. The animals thought that the Tortoise had killed the Hare and so they hung the Tortoise with the rope across the finishing line.

Because no matter how hard we work, people will never stop judging us - and it is from our biggest victory that we fall the hardest.

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