That Ploddin’ Tortoise and Pretentious Hare

by Katelyn Hall

Our daughter Katelyn (rising Senior!) took an online course with Institute for Excellence in Writing this past school year. One of her projects was to imitate the style of classic authors. So here we have “The Tortoise and the Hare,” first in the style of Mark Twain, and then in the style of Shakespeare. I hope it brings some smiles to your day.


One bright summer morning Hare was doing his morning ritual of taunting and teasing Tortoise on their way home from school. This was a particularly bad morning for Tortoise which caused him to lose his temper and blurt out, “Hang you Hare, ain’t you got better things to be doin’ than bouncing ‘round me and driving me up a wall?”

Hare looked at his victim, pleased with himself that he had finally gotten the Tortoise flustered.

“Well now, I reckon I don’t have much else to do since I be so fast, but I wouldn’t be expectin’ you to understand that.” At this the Tortoise frowned; an idea popped into his head.

“Say, Hare. Warn’t you’d like to be in a race with me?”

This statement surprised Hare into a flurry of excitement, “Ha! Tortoise if you were twenty times faster than you be right now, I dare say I’d jump at the chance to race you.” Hare chuckled at the pun he had worked into this statement. He thought it quite cunning and marvelous of him.

“Alrighty then,” Tortoise nodded, “I’ll see you t’morrow at noon. I’ll find Fox, who I’m suppose’n be happy to set a track up for us.”

The next day the Tortoise and the Hare met up at the starting line. “Three-Two-One. GO!” the Fox shouted.

Once Hare got far ahead, he laughed to himself, “Well, I be figurin’ that a short rest won’t be ‘a’hurtin anything right now.” He sat down, and soon he fell fast asleep. He did not notice the determined Tortoise who grinned as he steadily plodded past the sleeping Hare.

Hare soon realized he was too late when he woke up and heard the Tortoise shout, “Well-a-well, ya’ see Hare. Slow and steady. I reckon it works every time.”


HARE. 

Stand, ho! Tis’ the ever-plodding slow walking knave! 

TORTOISE.                     

O speak to me no longer these words that anger my soul. I bid you, most unpleasant Hare, join me in a race on the morrow.

HARE. 

Ha! I accept thy challenge.

Scene change.

FOX.

Tis now the hour of the race. I bid you make haste!

Race begins.

HARE.

Now that I hath gone a far distance and left Tortoise far behind me, I shall lay me down for a short rest. 

TORTOISE.

Hare, you fool, who races like a ball made of rubber, thou art the most pribbling beef-witted miscreant that liveth. Nay, surely now that you sleep in this time of great haste and are unaware of my passing and crossing of the finish line, thou shalt find that pride ne’er profits. 

HARE.

Now I awaken and am struck by surprise. How hath this dreadful thing come upon me?

TORTOISE.

 O thou most feebleminded of Hares, slow and steady ’tis the key to the greatest of successes. 

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