They had given two awards, one big and one smaller for the runner who would be the best not only for a race, but at all the races during the whole year.
So all the animals gathered to discuss about the awards.
- The first prize will be mine, - said the rabbit.
- The truth comes out very soon and when someone has a friend one of the judges, but to give the second prize to the snail this is outrageous, I call this an insult that is being done to me.
- It’s not like that, - said the telegraph-pole, that had witnessed in awards’ giving. They consider the persistence too. That’s what all the famous men of the jury said and I am with them in this case.
- It is true that the snail needed six months to pass the groundsel of the door, but he broke his leg because of the big hurry. He gave himself to the race, and do not forget that he was carrying his house on the back while running… that’s why he should be praised, so he was given the second prize.
- Whatever, I don’t understand why they didn’t award me, - said the swallow. – I don’t think there is anyone faster than me when it comes to flying, and I have gone so, so far this time!
- Well, this is the wrong with you, - said the pole. – You’re too much errant, you can’t stay in a single place. Every time gets cold around here, you escape and flee to the other countries. You’re not a patriot! So, they will give you an award.
- What if I stay and pass the winter here in the tree, - said the swallow. – What if I stay here during the winter, will they consider the chance of giving me the prize?
- Bring a certificate from the tree to confirm that you’ve passed the winter there sleeping, so your request will be taken into account.
- I deserved the first prize, not the second one, - the snail was saying. – I know that the rabbit has run only from the fear he had, he ran when he felt he was in danger. But I felt the race was my duty and here I am disabled. I am the one who deserves the first prize, but I don’t want to make a speech because I don’t like rumors. Then the snail spat with disdain about the injustice that they had done to him.
- I give you my word of honor that the prizes were given right, - said the hurdle stone into the woods, who was a member of the jury. I will always act wisely, in order and seeing things clearly. I had the honor to be part of the jury for seven times, but today happened what I thought. I awarded the first prize reading the alphabet from the beginning, while the second one reading the alphabet from the end. Listen to me and I will explain everything. The eighth letter starting from the A is H, and Hare begins with H (Hare in Danish means rabbit), so I gave the first prize to the rabbit. The eighth letter, if we start from the end is S, so the snail won the second prize (in Danish he is called Sneglen). The next year it’s the turn of the L letter to win the prize, while the second will be awarded to the R… everything must be done in order!
- If I weren’t a member of the jury, I would vote myself, - said the donkey. – We should not consider just the speed of walking, we should study the other qualities. For example, how much weight can each of the candidates carry on the back; however I didn’t mean this, neither the speed nor the slyness of the rabbit to escape from the enemy. I mean that what is called the ‘charm’. And what I saw this time, I saw the sharp ears the rabbit had and I was pleased to look at them. It seemed like I was looking at myself when I was young so I voted for him.
Bzzzz, - said the fly, - I don’t want to make a long speech, I just wanted to say a thing. To be sincere I have passed more than a rabbit in the race. I was once in a locomotive and the rabbit was running to escape. But the locomotive passed by pressing on his hind legs. And that happened only because I was at the locomotive. Do you see how did I pass the rabbit running? But to be sincere, I don’t need the prize!
The wild rose had a beautiful thought but he didn’t like to talk like the others and didn’t speak a word. He was thinking:
- I guess the sun ray deserves both the first and the second prizes. In a moment it makes an infinite way from the sun towards us. And it comes so vehemently, that the whole nature wakes so wonderfully and beautifully, that all the roses like me blush and cover in flavor. I guess our venerable judges didn’t think of that. If I were a sun ray, I would make the sun burn them, but it would just distract them even though they are doted already. No I won’t say anything, - continued the rose, - I still want the peace into the woods. It’s so wonderful to live and blossom, to release the savors and live; to live in the legends and songs. However, the sun ray will always be above us even when we won’ be here anymore.
- What is the first prize? – asked the worm, who was sleeping till then and showed up at that moment.
- The first prize is the permission to enter inside a garden of cabbages, - said the donkey. – It was me who gave the idea. The rabbit deserves this prize, so like the active and wise member of the jury, I thought carefully about the winner interests. The rabbit won and the snail is allowed to stay on the wall and leak the musk and the sunlight. Besides, he will be in the future one of the prime members of the jury in the running races. And you know why, because we need a specialist in the jury for the race. And I have to tell that this is a good start and I have hopes for the future.