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Why does the buffalo walk slowly and tread gently?

The Race of the Buffalo and the Hare.

IN OLDEN times, so we are told by those who know best, there was constant strife between the hares and the buffaloes. Each of them contended for the honour of being the most swift-footed.

               Both did run very fast and neither would give in to the other. So it went on year after year, and there seemed to be no end to the strife. Tired of this constant fight, one day the hare said to the buffalo, "Let us try a race together and settle this quarrel once for all." The buffalo was well contented with the proposal, and they agreed to race one another. When the day came the hare, putting his ears back, started the race. He ran so fast that you might have said he was flying upon the ground.

               But the buffalo was a match for him. He went thundering away, his hoofs splashing the mud and raising seas of mire. The earth shook at his furious tread. He soon overtook the breathless hare which was running panting as fast as its little legs could carry it.

               Then a thought struck the hare, and he cried to the buffalo, "Ho, friend! Take heed how thou art thundering along. The earth is shaking, and if thou art not careful, the earth will give way under thee. See how it is rocking under thy feet."

               When the buffalo heard the hare's story, he stopped still for a while bewildered, and then, being frightened, lest the earth should give way under him and he sink beneath, he checked his pace and began to walk slowly and tread gently.

               That was just what the hare had wanted, and pulling a long nose at the buffalo, he ran swiftly by, leaving the buffalo a long way behind. Thus he won the race, and there was no longer any strife between the hares and the buffaloes. But ever since the buffalo walks slowly and treads lightly upon the ground.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Why does the buffalo walk slowly and tread gently?
Tale Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Romania
Classification: unclassified

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