The Tortoise and the Hare

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Bedtime Stories , Fables , Classics
Lexile Level:
Read to Me , Read & Play , Read It Myself
Story Length:


The hare is sure she's the speediest animal in the forest, so imagine her surprise when a tortoise challenges her to a race. She’s so sure that it's going to be easy to win the race that she stops to take a nap. The tortoise perseveres and keeps plodding along even as the hare naps. The animals cheer him on while the birds in the trees provide a birds-eye view of the race. This comedic retelling of the classic fable shows, once again, that "slow and steady wins the race."

Learning Concepts

Focus and Self-Control

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Full Text

A speedy hare lived in the woods. She was always bragging to the other animals about how fast she could run.

The animals grew tired of listening to the hare. So one day, the tortoise walked slowly up to her and challenged her to a race. The hare howled with laughter.

"Race you? I can run circles around you!" the hare said. But the tortoise didn't budge. "OK, Tortoise. You want a race? You've got it! This will be a piece of cake." The animals gathered to watch the big race.

A whistle blew, and they were off. The hare sprinted down the road while the tortoise crawled away from the starting line.

The hare ran for a while and looked back. She could barely see the tortoise on the path behind her. Certain she'd win the race, the hare decided to rest under a shady tree.

The tortoise came plodding down the road at his usual slow pace. He saw the hare, who had fallen asleep against a tree trunk. The tortoise crawled right on by.

The hare woke up and stretched her legs. She looked down the path and saw no sign of the tortoise. "I might as well go win this race," she thought.

As the hare rounded the last curve, she was shocked by what she saw. The tortoise was crossing the finish line! The tortoise had won the race!

The confused hare crossed the finish line. "Wow, Tortoise," the hare said, "I really thought there was no way you could beat me." The tortoise smiled. "I know. That's why I won."

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More in "Social-Emotional/Life Skills"


  • Adapted by: Amy Kraft
  • Illustrated by: Violeta Dabija and Tim Goldman
  • Copy edited by: The Linguistic Edge
  • Music and audio by: Bang


  • Narrator, Hare, Sportscaster: Lisa Rothhauser
  • Tortoise, Porcupine, Sportscaster: Allen Enlow
  • Bear, Fox: Paul Guyet

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