“The Tortoise and the Hare”

Sections: Information | Plot Description


Plot Description

Spoiler warning! The Tortoise is upset because the Hare has invaded his favourite dining spot – Mister Roach’s vegetable patch. So he formulates a plan. He challenges the Hare to a race and produces a contract that says the loser will stay away from the vegetable patch. The Hare agrees and signs. That night, the Tortoise pays a visit to Mister Rat, a brilliant engineer and corrupt businessman. The Tortoise offers to pay him to build a small motor-car that can be concealed within the Tortoises’s shell. After Rat takes the job (and Tortoises’s money), he calls the Hare and asks him how much he would pay to know of an evil plot against him. Hare is furious and pays to learn of Tortoise’s scheme. When Rat points out that nothing in the race contract forbids cheating, the Hare believes he will lose. Rat offers to make sure that he doesn’t – for a fee. The Hare pays up. The next day before the race, the Rat dumps a load of spiky nails across the track. The race begins and the Tortoise is far ahead in the lead. Just as he thinks he’s going to win, all four tires go flat. The Hare is thrilled until he too steps on the spiky nails. They both agree to call the race a draw. Meanwhile the Rat went home and counted all his pay. “So just remember if you can, / Don’t tangle with a business man. / It doesn’t matter who you choose, / They always win, we always lose. / If you were here and I was there, / If you were Tortoise, I was Hare, / We’d both get diddled in the end / By people like our Ratty friend.”