The Hare and the Tautologist

Poetry and Prose and Narrative


Once upon a time there was a hare.

The hare liked to boast he was faster than most, telling all that he met he could win any bet. This was even more fun than the actual run.

One day he came upon a creature he had never encountered before. Who are you? the hare asked.

Me, I’m Shelly Carapace, the other replied, slowly. V e r y slowly.

OK, wrong question, the hare said. What are you?

Me, I’m a t-

Never mind, said the hare, jumping up in the air, I think I’ve got it. (His span of attention was hardly worth mention) Hey, you wanna race? Say, from here to that tree, or the rock in its lee?

The t- looked at him. And why, I enquire, would I want or desire to do what you suggest at your urgent request? Since you look and appear to be winner material, I myself must be the second, and last.

Are you writing this down? asked the hare with a frown. Only what you just said sounds like something I’ve read. And a lot of the time we’ve been talking in rhyme, which is odd when you think how so little has passed.

Oh, cease and desist! said his new friend, insistently. Who gave you leave to be critic and judge?

Ha, good one! the hare said, while scanning for predators, blending with background the colour of fudge.

They looked at one another again. It’s gone excessively too far, said the t-. Suppose we, the two of us, just stay and remain here where we are?

OK, the hare said.

They were silent for a while before the hare spoke again. Sorry I was a bit short just now, he said, but can I ask, what does the t stand for?

Because, Mr Hare, there isn’t a chair.

Badoom, tish.