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Longer Narrative Poems 

By Josie Whitehead

Tortoise and the Hare - brown.jpg

Adapted to poetry
from Aesop's Fables

By Josie Whitehead

Tortoise and the Hare (The)

Horace Hare bored his friends with his bragging:
      'I can surely outrun all of you!'
Whilst most of them tutted and muttered,
     A tortoise said: 'Here’s what we’ll do.'

He turned to the hare, feeling angry:
     'Your boasting is such a disgrace,
And, to prove that you are not the fastest,
      Tomorrow, could we have a race?'

The race was arranged for the morning.
 Horace Hare laughed aloud at the thought.
At the starting line both of them waited
      And neither one seemed overwrought.

The green starting flag came down sharply,
      But Horace felt sad for his friend,
And he watched as he ambled off slowly,
But grinned when he went round the bend.

'I can’t make a fool of old Torty.
   I’ll give him a five minute start,'
So he shut up his eyes for five minutes
     And off into sleep did depart.'

Off trundled the tortoise quite slowly,
    And he sauntered along on the track.
'Think about racing?  Not likely!'
    So he stopped on the way for a snack.

Well, Horace slept on in the sunshine
    Enjoying his comfortable doze,
Whilst Torty just plodded on slowly
    At the leisurely pace that he chose.

Mid-day and the church clock was chiming,
And the noise woke the hare from his sleep.
He stretched himself out in the sunshine,
     And through his eyes started to peep.

So where was that dawdling old tortoise?
     'I’ll soon overtake that old fool!
I’ll spring up behind him quite lively,
    And I’ll finish that race looking cool.'

But Torty had gone out of sight now,
    So Horace soon shot down the track.
The tortoise had rambled quite slowly,
     And, unheeding, had never looked back.

Horace sped along now very swiftly,
      Imagining how he would boast,
But who do you think was there waiting
     Ahead at the field’s winning post?


Old Torty had finished his journey,
      And watched as the hare reached the line.
With a smile on his face he soon told him:
     'Go slow and you’ll win the next time.'

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