The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me.”
The Tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”
“That is a good joke,” said the Hare; “I could dance round you all the way.”
“Keep your boasting till you’ve beaten,” answered the Tortoise. “Shall we race?”
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, believing that the Tortoise could never catch him, lay down by the wayside to have a nap. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course.
When the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post. The Hare ran as fast as he could, but it was too late. He saw the Tortoise had reached the goal. Then said the Tortoise:
“Slow and steady wins the race.”