T LOUISAS lLONDON TOY BOOKS, 1/or Mounted 2-
NDON: "REDERICK WARNED. & CO. -
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HARE AND THE TORTOISE.
O N a fine summer afternoon the animals on
Farmer Jesper's little holding met in a
shady lane for a friendly gossip. There were
Captain the cart-horse and Crummy the cow; a
motherly sow who had left her litter fast asleep,
and who was familiarly addressed as Tiggy;
Cockalorum Wakemup, who dated his letters
from "The kBarrf Door;" Pintoe, a gander;
Bubbleyjock the turkey, and a dozen or more of
the female relatives of the three gallants last
Opinions on farm matters were freely
;d. Captain and Crummy signified that
so far as they were concerned things went on
pleasantly enough; but Tiggy declared that the
stuff put into her trough was shamefully thin, con-
sidering the size of her family; and the poultry
complained that the new maid was stingy with
the barley. Bubbleyjock vowed that if Bob Jesper
The Baldwin Library
The Hare and the Tortoise.
did not leave off pelting him when he came
from school he would make his ugly red calves
smart (Bubbleyjock said "ugly" because his
own calves were mere drumsticks); and Cocka-
lorum Wakemup, perched on the top rail of a
five-barred gate, was just thrilling his friends
with a "creepy" story of how a fox prowled
about the fowl-house for several hours on the
previous night, when who should come up but
Tibby, a pert young coxcomb of a hare, well
known in those parts.
Hullo! you fellows, what's your diminutive
diversion ?" said Tibby, as he bounded into the
middle of the group. (Tibby, like other con-
ceited people, was noted for using fine words.)
"Oh," replied Captain, "we're just having a
quiet chat after dinner, Tib. What's your little
"Well, look here; I'm ready to run any of
you for anything you like to name."
"There he is again," cried several, impatiently.
"Run, run, run; nothing but 'run' whenever
you see him." As though," added Crummy,
The Hare and the Tortoise.
"it was something very grand to spend one's
life in eating, sleeping, and running."
"What do you know about it, you cross old
thing? (This to Crummy, who was old enough
to be his grandmother.) Well, if you are not
game, I am;" and laughing heartily at his own
little joke, he was turning away, when a sleepy
voice was heard from out the grass:
"Stop a bit, Tib; if nobody else will race you,
I will, for two miles."
"Who's that ?" the company cried in a breath;
and they answered themselves as they exclaimed
in great amazement, Why, it's little Tor-
tums !" And sure enough it was Tortums.
Now Tortums, I must tell you, was a tortoise,
whose quiet, modest behaviour had made him a
general favourite, and who, hearing the clatter
of voices, had crawled down from the farm-
house unperceived, to learn what was going on.
Need I say that his friends, who were quite
taken aback by this extraordinary piece of self-
assertion on the part of Tortums, entreated him
not to expose himself to certain defeat? Tibby
The Hare and tee
laughed until his sides ached; and so, for the
matter of that, did Cockalorum Wakemup, who
was a bit of a friend of his; but Tortums was
not to be put off.
"If nobody else will race him, I will, that's
all;" and he winked at Tiggy, as much as to say,
"I know my man."
So they agreed that, just for the fun of the
thing, Tortums should race Tibby. The challen-
ger at first stood upon his dignity, and declared
the whole thing to be too absurd to be thought
of for a moment, but the company threatened
to cut him if he backed out; so off they ran
to the turnpike road, in high glee at the pros-
pect of sport.
When Tortums had come up, Captain drew a
line across the road with his hoof, and required
Tibby and Tortums to toe it.
Are you ready?" cried Captain.
"All right," replied the competitors.
"Very well, then:
'Bell, horses; bell, horses; what time of day ?
One o'clock, two o'clock, three and away !'"
The Hare and the Tortoise. 5
Off galloped Tibby, and was instantly lost to
sight round a bend in the road, whilst little
Tortums started at a brisk crawl under a volley
of good-natured banter from his friends, who
regarded the race as the best joke of the season.
When Tibby had reached the first milestone
he slackened his pace, and said to himself,
" Pheugh! it's melting hot this afternoon. It will
be an hour at least before that little idiot reaches
here, so I'll lie down in the grass and have a
rest." He lay down-he dozed-he fell fast asleep!
Meanwhile, Tortums stuck to his work bravely,
accompanied by his friends, and within an hour
had nearly reached the first milestone, when Cap-
tain, who, being fatigued with walking so slowly,
had stepped out to the front to stretch his legs,
came running back with the momentous news
that he had spied Tib fast asleep at the side of
the road. The truth flashed across the minds of
those present that after all little Tortums might
win, and they agreed to pass the unconscious
braggart on tiptoe and in perfect*silence. The
plan answered admirably, though Tiggy's awk-
The Hare and the Tortoise.
wardness in doing her best to carry out the tip-
toe plan nearly led to a burst of laughter.
On, and on, and on plodded little Sobersides.
His friends were in momentary expectation of
seeing Tibby flash past them; but he came not,
and just as twilight was setting in Tortums
reached the goal.
"Three cheers for Tortums," cried the excite-
able Cockalorum, "and take the time from me."
"Hip, hip, hurrah!" shouted the company,
and at that moment Tibby was seen coming up
the road at a mad gallop. But it was too late.
He had lost the race!
"And now, dears, for the moral," I said, as I
first told the story at my own fireside.
"Oh, never mind the moral, papa; we know all
about that," interjected Frank, my eldest; and it
being the first duty of papas in this enlightened
age to do as they are bid, I left the story to
point its own. moral. Fortunately it lies upon
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