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Tony Tortoise's Sunday Hat

2006-07-14 00:28

  Robert Rabbit was lolloping along a lane one bright, sunny Sunday morning when he met Tony Tortoise who was wearing a new straw hat trimmed with bright red ribbons.

  Now Robert, who was not at all shy, said, “I wish you would lend me your hat. It would fit very nicely between my ears.”

  “No - I cannot lend it to anyone,” said Tony.

  “Well,” said Robert, who never gave up, “let's have a race to Farmer Green's gate. You could let me wear the hat until we finished the race and then the winner could keep it.” Poor Tony had to give in but he was very unhappy.

  So Robert fixed the little hat between his ears and said, “To be fair I will give you a good start to the corner of the lane.

  Off plodded poor Tony as fast as his little legs would go, and that was very slowly indeed.

  As soon as Tony was out of sight Robert Rabbit started off, feeling very sure he could easily win the race, but he had only gone a few yards when, Puff! A gust of wind blew the hat into a tree. “Now what do I do?” said Robert, “I can't climb trees so I shall have to wait until someone passes who can.”

  He waited and waited and no one came, but at last he heard a rustling noise in the tree and saw two bright eyes looking down at him from above. “Why, it's Sally Squirrel!” he said. “Hello, Sally! Can you see a little hat up there in the tree?”

  “No,” said Sally. “I can't see it from here, but I shall have a look for it.” So Sally jumped from branch to branch, holding her bushy, grey tail above her head. “Yes,” she called, “I can see it now. I'll throw it down to you.” Robert caught the hat and said, “Thank you very much, Sally, and now I am off to win the race!”

  By this time Tony had reached the gate and saw Farmer Green standing there watching him. A minute later Robert arrived, puffing and out of breath. “What's all this about?” asked Farmer Green, “and why is Robert Rabbit wearing a hat?” Tony told him all about the race so the farmer said, “Come on, Robert. You have lost the race so give that hat back to Tony.” “Oh, well,” said Robert, as he took off the hat, “I shall have to be fair, I suppose, but I was unlucky or I could easily have won the race and the hat.”

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