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(Tuggle collection)

One day the Deer was lying in the grass chewing his cud, when a Terrapin crawled near. The Deer looked at him moving slowly along, and said: "Why, brother Terrapin, you crawl as though you are sick. Why don't you go faster?"

"Oh, brother Deer, I like to go this way. I can run fast, and I can beat you running," replied the Terrapin. The Deer laughed.

p. 55

[paragraph continues] "When do you want to try it?" he asked. "Any time. How will tomorrow suit you?" responded the Terrapin.

So it was agreed that they should have the race the following day. They selected the ground and chose the Rabbit as judge. The Terrapin went to see all his friends that evening and told them that the honor of the family was at stake and appealed to them to aid in maintaining it. All having said they would, he continued, "Now here is my plan. I will meet the Deer to-morrow on the ground we picked out, and tell him I prefer to run through the grass and let him run along the trail. Well, this is the way we can beat him. I will start off at the word through the grass and you will be stationed in the grass along the way, and when you hear the Doer running on the trail, you can run a little way and stop. If the Deer calls out 'Oh, brother Terrapin, where are you?' you can tell him 'Here I am crawling along in the grass,' and the last one can crawl up to where the Rabbit will be sitting, when he hears the Deer coming, and claim the race." They all agreed that this was a fine plan, except the Terrapin who was assigned to the last station, and he said the Deer would know he was not the same Terrapin and would suspect some trick. So the first and the last Terrapin exchanged places, the last being cautioned to hide in the grass near the starting place so that the Deer could not see him plainly. They separated and the Terrapins all took their places along the race course.

The next day the Deer galloped over the prairie and, reaching the starting point, called out: "Oh, brother Terrapin, where are you?" "Here I am," answered the Terrapin hiding in the grass. "Well, are you ready?" asked the Deer. "Yes," said the Terrapin, and at the word the Deer leaped forward. Hearing no sound in the grass after going some distance, he called out, "Where are you, brother Terrapin?" One of the Terrapins answered, "Here I am down in the grass crawling along."

The Deer was surprised, so he ran faster and called out, "Oh, brother Terrapin, where are you?" Another Terrapin answered, "Here I am, just a-crawling through the grass." So the Deer ran with all his might and did not stop till he reached the Rabbit. But just as he thought he had won the race, he saw the Terrapin crawl up to the end of the course. The Rabbit decided that the Terrapin had won.

Next: 61. The Bungling Host