Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Turtle were returning together to Smalltown from The Big Race when they met the Mayor of Smalltown. They knew he was the Mayor because he wore the Red Sash of the Mayor of Smalltown.
“Hello,” the Mayor greeted them.
“Hello, Mayor,” said Mr. Turtle.
“Hello,” said Mr. Rabbit.
The Mayor clasped his hands and smiled grandly. “So,” he said knowingly, “who has won the Big Race?”
“Not I,” said Mr. Rabbit.
“Oh, dear,” the Mayor exclaimed. “You didn’t win?”
“Nor I,” said Mr. Turtle.
The Mayor looked dumbfounded. “Well! Someone must have won the race. Was there another contestant?”
“No,” said Mr. Turtle.
“Then,” the Mayor looked more confused, “one of you must have won. Come now, tell me. We’re to have a feast in the winner’s honor. There must be an honoree to honor.”
“It is not I,” Mr. Rabbit repeated. “For all of my boasting and foolishness, I was forced to eat my words and pride as Mr. Turtle crossed the finish line first.”
The Mayor looked questioningly to Mr. Turtle. “Is this true, Mr. Turtle?”
“I crossed first,” Mr. Turtle nodded as he confessed.
“Very good,” the Mayor said, smiling. “Please come to town and we will celebrate your victory.”
“But,” Mr. Turtle hesitated, “my friend Mr. Rabbit was the real winner. You see, he has won a valuable lesson. Mr. Rabbit is therefore the real winner. I merely helped him on his way.”
“Well,” the Mayor frowned and wrung his hands, “this complicates things.”
They all stood there and contemplated the situation.
“I know,” said Turtle, finally. “Perhaps the feast can be held on both our honors.”
The Mayor thought on this a moment. Then a huge grin showed on his face and he spread his arms out wide. “Splendid! Splendid! That is a perfect idea. Come, let us go.”
Happily the Mayor, with Turtle and Rabbit, went into Smalltown for the big feast. When they arrived, the townspeople rejoiced and prepared for one extra honoree. And Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Turtle were slaughtered with joy and the townspeople happily ate them up.