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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesThe Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - VIII - The Great Race
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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - VIII - The Great Race Post by :eSolutions Category :Short Stories Author :Arthur Scott Bailey Date :April 2012 Read :3046

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The Tale Of Jimmy Rabbit - VIII - The Great Race

VIII - The Great Race

On the morning of his great race with Mr. Turtle, Jimmy Rabbit was at the creek bright and early. He brought his two brothers with him, to see the fun. And he found that there were others, too, who had heard of the sport and had come to enjoy it. Frisky Squirrel was there, and Billy Woodchuck, and Fatty Coon. Then there was old Mr. Crow, who was always on hand whenever a crowd gathered. And perhaps the pleasantest and most interested of all was Tommy Fox.

"I hope you'll let me have a ride on your new sled when the first snow comes," he said to Jimmy Rabbit. "For, of course, you'll win the race. And Mr. Turtle will have to give you the sled, as he promised."

"I'll see," said Jimmy. And that was all the answer he would give.

But Tommy Fox seemed satisfied.

"I'm going to run along beside you," he told Jimmy, "to keep you company. And I'll wait at Broad Brook with you, to see the fun when Mr. Turtle gets there. For everyone knows that you're going to win the race."

"I fully expect to," said Jimmy.

Then Tommy drew a line in the sand.

"Here's where you start!" he said.

And Mr. Turtle and Jimmy Rabbit toed the mark.

"One, two, three--go!" cried Tommy Fox. And with that they were off. In no time at all Jimmy Rabbit had run so far that Mr. Turtle lost sight of him.

"Just as I expected!" Tommy Fox said to Jimmy Rabbit. They were in the woods now, and not far from Broad Brook. "There's no need of hurrying," Tommy remarked. "You can reach the brook quickly enough. It will be late in the afternoon before Mr. Turtle gets this far. I see you're a little out of breath. Why don't you lie down and rest? I'd take a nap, if I were you. And I'll wake you in time for you to win the race."

"That's a good idea," Jimmy Rabbit said. "I'll do it!" And he lay down on the ground and went to sleep.

Late in the afternoon there were as many people at Broad Brook to see the finish of the race as there had been at the creek in the morning to watch the start.

"I don't see where Jimmy can be," said Frisky Squirrel. "His brothers are both here--and they can't run as fast as he can." But no one seemed to know what had become of Jimmy Rabbit.

"I'm afraid he's going to lose his wheelbarrow," Tommy Fox finally said. "If he loses the race, he'll have to give his wheelbarrow to Mr. Turtle, just as he promised." And Tommy didn't seem at all sorry at such a thought.

"I hear some one coming!" Billy Woodchuck cried a little later. He had very sharp ears.

"And I can see somebody!" Fatty Coon exclaimed. He had very sharp eyes.

And sure enough! Pretty soon they all saw Mr. Turtle waddle out of the woods and hurry toward them.

Tommy Fox began to dance and sing.

"He's going to win! He's going to win!" he said, over and over again.

And it certainly did look as if that was just what was going to happen.

Tommy drew a mark in the sand near the brook. "As soon as he crosses this line, he'll win the race!" he shouted.

The two Rabbit boys stepped across the line and waited.

"Your brother is just as good as beaten," Tommy Fox told them. You see, he had never been near Jimmy Rabbit to wake him, as he had agreed. Of course, he had never intended to wake him.

Then Mr. Turtle crossed the line.

"You've won!" Tommy exclaimed. And he was so pleased that he gave Mr. Turtle a good, hard slap on the back. "Ouch!" Tommy said. There was a look of pain on his face. He had forgotten that Mr. Turtle had such a hard back.

"Who's won?" one of the Rabbit brothers asked.

"Why, Mr. Turtle!" said Tommy Fox.

"That," said the Rabbit boy, "that is just where you are mistaken, sir. Jimmy Rabbit has won the race--for I am Jimmy Rabbit."

For a moment there was silence. And then a great shout went up. For they all saw that it was Jimmy Rabbit himself, dressed like one of his brothers.

But Tommy Fox did not shout at all. He was very angry. "There's been some trick played on us," he said.

"Where's my sled, Mr. Turtle?" Jimmy Rabbit asked. He turned around. But Mr. Turtle had vanished. He had jumped into the brook and swum away.

So Jimmy Rabbit did not get the sled after all. But he was so pleased over the way he had outwitted Tommy Fox that he didn't care very much. And all his friends said that he was not only a fast runner, but a very clever fellow as well.

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