(We are studying this lesson and I find it quite interesting and different from the other boring lessons that we usually study. I’ve decided to put it down, but I am making a few changes. This story is dedicated, especially to our animal friends.)

‘The tortoise won in the race against the rabbit’. When a rabbit got frustrated of hearing this again and again he decided to take matters in his own hand. Deciding to challenge the tortoises to another race, he set off at a good pace and when arrived at the tortoise’s houses saw them sitting in the sun sipping lemonade while the young ones played about. “Ahem...” said the rabbit to announce himself. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the rabbit as if he was a Martian and, this was what angered the rabbit more than anything so when he spoke again in a harsh voice he was quite startled and felt a vindictive pleasure in seeing them grimace. “I have come here because I feel the rabbit generation has been demeaned. I would feel immense gratitude if any one of you will run a race with me, the same way that our ancestors did” Well, you could tell the tortoises were shell-shocked. Their expressions were one of complete bewilderment and were quite amusing to see. They even tried to reason with the rabbit. “Brother Rabbit, be reasonable. The race that had to happen happened many years ago. The whole world knows the result of the race.

We can’t keep on having races all the time. Anyway, we are too old to have races. Probably when we were young we would have listened.” The rabbit however was not going to take ‘No’ for an answer. He drew himself up to his full height (which wasn’t very much) and said in ringing tones-“I am giving you exactly 24 hours to make your decision. Tomorrow, I will come again but this time the press and the photographers will accompany me. If still you won’t agree to run the race then it will come in the newspapers next morning that the rabbits have won the race from the tortoises and no tortoise will be able to show his face. Even people abroad will grin at you and call you pathetic creatures” And, satisfied with his handiwork with a smile playing along his lips the rabbit walked away, his head still held up high leaving the tortoises in turmoil.
“This is terrible! We don’t even have a hope of winning, all our ancestor’s hard work will go to waste.” A Young tortoise broke the horrid silence that had fallen over all of them. Many of them were just looking helplessly about. “We will have to tell the president. He will decide what to do. It is up to him now. Everything is in his hands” said an elderly tortoise with a sigh.

“What’s that twitchy? Oh, very amusing. Really, I can consider you for the jester job. Where did you pick up that one, eh?” That was the first reaction of the president. His second one wasn’t very satisfactory. “This will change the course of history. Do you know what that means? We will be ruined!” raged the president. “Only Clever Hops can tell us what to do. We will go straight to him”

“You gotta be kidding! Man, this is bizarre. But, don’t worry… no fear….Clever Hops will find the way as he always does……of course this doesn’t count being a thief” Clever Hops tried his best to assure the president. “We’re counting on you, you rascal! Make us proud.” Mr. President said tersely. “We will have an idea by dawn, no fear … leave everything to me…. in the mean time, would you like a biscuit? I recently smuggled an entire new brand of ‘eat this and you’ll go nuts’ from Los Angeles….. Highly delicious and very nourishing…can’t put it down” offered Clever Hops. “No one can eat just one!”

The president was so angry with himself; he could barely speak for sheer frustration. Pondering over what was going to happen when the sun rose, the president had slept at 6 am and now it was 11am. The match was to start at 10 am! This would take the cake; the rabbits would taunt all of them. He could almost hear their words-“you are such pathetic losers and your president is a fine example! He isn’t even there when you need him the most, he is so lousy. Suckers!” He dint even know how the tortoises were faring without him (presidents always think they are needed, it makes them feel immensely proud), he was the figurehead of the community and thanks to his laziness he was going to let everyone down. “I’m going to kill Clever Hops if he makes us lose” muttered the president. And as he dressed he was filled with dread and fear.

The rabbit woke at 6am feeling very confident and proud of himself. He was going over what he was going to say to the tortoises after he had won-“now, there will be a press conference and I want my photograph to be in the newspaper (do not worry about the photo, I will supply that), also I want a box of sweets and I clearly demand on being garlanded. That is all” and with a careless wave of his hand he would walk away and be hounded by the press while the tortoises would look miserably on.
“Ah, things would be so easy for the rabbits after he won. They would get global attention, be worshiped and they would be able to savor a new-found freedom.” Thinking of these things the rabbit fell down on the couch and dozed off.

“Aha! Thought you were going to win, didn’t you?” that’s what a tortoise said when he saw the horror filled expression on the rabbit’s face. It took him a moment to realize that as soon as he said those words the rabbit had keeled over and dropped on the hard earth, his expression still of utmost horror.

“What’s happening here? What’s going on? Why are all of you celebrating?” cried the president as he rushed on the scene. “Unless…no...Surely not… It’ll be a miracle if that happened” muttered the president. He rushed to his friend and after five minutes was celebrating like everyone else.

“What really happened? Clever Hops, what miracle did you do today?” Cried the president in the midst of merrymaking. All the noise stopped as everyone looked at Clever Hops who cleared his throat modestly and launched into his story at once-“It was really quite easy. Since we couldn’t win by playing fair we would have to win by cheating (which is why Mr. President came to me), so I got my twin cousins to participate in this race. One would stand at the starting line while the other would stand under an oak tree just inches away from the finishing line. And if rabbit said something like” I was ahead of him, I would have seen him, uh…crawl past me” I would have replied “he’s got a boon; he crawls very fast”. Needless to say, it worked marvelously and well, you saw it” concluded Clever Hops.

“Clever Hops, you’re a gem” said the president solemnly after having a good laugh and raised a toast to him.

Therefore the moral of this story is: don’t trust people who look innocent, in the end they are the ones who turn out to be the culprits.

George Bush was once a cheerleader!

Dating back to the 1600's thermometers were filled with brandy instead of mercury