Cherokee: The Rabbit and the Turtle

Rabbit was always boasting about how fast he was. One day Turtle said to him, "Rabbit, I can beat you in a race!" Rabbit laughed, but Turtle was serious. They decided to race over four hills.

Rabbit was so confident that he said, "I'll give you a head start. You can skip the first hill. That means I will have four hills but you will only have three." Turtle thanked Rabbit for his kindness and then went home to tell his wife and son what he needed them to do for him to win the race.

On the day of the race, Rabbit started from the foot of the first hill, while Turtle started from the second hill. Rabbit hopped ahead with confidence, but he was surprised when he saw Turtle cresting the top of the second hill at the same time as he reached the top of the first hill.

When Rabbit got to the top of the second hill, he saw Turtle ahead of him, already cresting the third hill, with just one more hill to go.

Rabbit was now leaping as fast as he could, but as he reached the third hill, he could see Turtle already cresting the fourth hill, heading down towards the finish line. Rabbit ran and ran, but Turtle finished first.

Can you guess what happened? To a rabbit, all turtles look alike. So while Turtle waited at the top of the fourth hill, his wife had waited at the top of the second hill and his son had waited at the top of the third hill. Rabbit thought he saw Turtle racing from one hill to the next, but the family of turtles had fooled him, and Rabbit never figured out just how Turtle had run so fast.

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