Bunty rabbit hopped home angrily.

“What happened?” asked Mama Rabbit. “No school today?”

“Why did great-great-great-great-great grandfather lose the race against the tortoise?” shouted Bunty tearfully. “Everyone laughed at me when Ma’am Owl told us the story.”

“Great-great-great-great-great grandfather rabbit was a proud rabbit,” said Mother Rabbit sternly. “He was always boasting and never even thought once that someone could outsmart him. That day, the tortoise did.”

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“Slow and steady won the race!” muttered Bunty angrily.

“Exactly!” retorted his mother.

“Well, today I am going to win the race and change history!” declared the angry, little rabbit.

“Bunty!” chided his mother, “don’t do anything foolish!”

But Bunty just turned away and hopped out of his burrow. He went towards the river.

Dozy tortoise was resting under a tree.

“We are going to race each other!” said Bunty firmly.

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“Who?” asked Dozy tortoise, puzzled.

“You and me!” retorted Bunty.

“Why?” mumbled Dozy.

“To show everyone that it is speed and swiftness that makes one a winner of races!” replied the determined little rabbit.

“I’ll tell everyone that!” promised Dozy tortoise, and she started settling back to her nap.

“No!” declared Bunty. “I have to beat you at a race!”

So they decided to run down the river-bank up to the little bridge on top of it.

Tingle kingfisher was told to fly till the bridge and wait there for them. He was the umpire!

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“No cheating!” warned Bunty firmly.

Now Dozy too hated the thought of losing!

Slimy frog made the two contestants stand next to each other.

“Ready! Steady! Go!” croaked Slimy, jumping up and down in excitement.
Bunty raced off as quick as lightening.

Dozy followed slowly.

Suddenly Bunty stopped.

“I know what I’ll do!” thought the little rabbit. “I’ll sit on top of Dozy. When we are near the bridge I’ll hop off and reach there first!”

Dozy reached Bunty eventually.

Bunty hopped onto Dozy’s back.

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“What do you think you are doing?” Dozy asked angrily.

“Hitching a ride!” said Bunty gleefully.

So they made their way towards the little bridge across the river. Dozy huffed and puffed. Bunty was tiny but he was heavy! Slowly he trudged forward wondering how to make Bunty get off his back and stop the race.

Up in the sky, Tingle kingfisher was keeping an eye on them. He felt sorry for Dozy. It was a hot, sunny day. Tingle knew Dozy loved to snooze on warm days.

“I must help Dozy!” thought Tingle.

Meanwhile, Bunty was having a great time.

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“Hi!” he yelled to Brown monkey sitting on the banyan tree.

“Hi!” shouted the little rabbit as they met Furry squirrel near the mulberry bush.

“Hi!” he screamed when he saw Grey salmon peek out of the water. Dozy plodded on.

“Look at me!” screeched Tingle, high up in the sky.

Bunty looked up.

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“I can fly round and round, as well as up and down! Look at me!” screamed Tingle.

He did just that. First he swooped down.

“Ooh!” gasped Bunty in wonder.

Then Tingle flew up. Suddenly he swerved to the left, then to the right and then up and finally down!

“I’m feeling giddy!” moaned Bunty. The bright sun’s rays were hitting his eyes and watching Tingle’s acrobatics skills only made him more dizzy!

Dozy had a brainwave!

Slowly he turned around until he was facing the direction from which they had started.

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

“Oooooh!” groaned Bunty. “I feel sick! Everything seems to go round and round like a merry-go-round! Ooooooh!”

Dozy plodded back home.

Bunty still hadn’t realised what had happened. He was busy clutching his head and hoping he would stop feeling sick.

“Hi!” shouted Grey salmon. “Enjoyed your walk?”

Bunty stared at him in astonishment.

“But………..!” he began when he suddenly saw Furry.

“Hi!” squeaked Furry. “Going back home?”

“Hey………!” shouted Bunty.

“You’re back fast!” said Brown monkey from his perch on the banyan tree.

Bunty was now really confused. He did not know in which direction they were moving! Suddenly it occurred to him that the river had been on their right side at the beginning of the race. Now it was to their left!

“We are going back home!” he shouted angrily.

Dozy smiled.

“Turn back!” ordered Bunty.

Dozy plodded on.

Bunty hopped off his back.

“Thank you!” murmured Dozy sarcastically. “I feel a lot lighter!”

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again
Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

Bunty hopped home angrily.

“Next time I won’t be duped by Dozy!” he shouted to his mother.

“What happened?” she asked.

Bunty narrated his woes.

“Slow and steady thinks better too!” laughed his mother.

“I will race him again and win!” vowed Bunty.

Bunty now plans to race Dozy on a cloudy day. Then the sun cannot make him feel dizzy!

But Dozy, too, has plans. She has ordered two pairs of roller skates! She wants to make sure that slow and steady wins the race again!

857 words | 8 minutes
Readability: Grade 3 (8-9 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: stories
Tags: #rivers, #banyan tree, #rabbits, #tortoises

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