Of course, by now, almost every person across the world has heard the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare.”  The famed bedtime fable has been told now for over a century and used as a cautionary tale to warn off complacency and taking your competition for granted, even for slow-ass turtles.  But much like every other Disney-fied fairy tale out there, the truth behind the tale is much darker.

The real story starts back on a normal night in the Lucky Rabbit’s Foot Pub, when a cantankerous rabbit by the name of Reynaldo Rabbit had a few too many vodka and carrot juices and started running his mouth off.  Reynaldo had chosen, for no particular reason, an unsuspecting, quiet turtle at the end of the bar named Walter to pick on. Ole Walt, however, wasn’t the type to buy into Reynaldo’s shit, so he just sipped on his bourbon and looked straight ahead. Finally, after a couple of hours of putting up with the loud-mouthed furball, Walt heard what he was waiting for. Reynaldo challenged him to a footrace. Still looking straight ahead, he quietly said, “I’ll see you at 8 a.m.” With all the vodka and carrot juices the rabbit had put back, he knew Reynaldo had no chance of running in the morning. Walt was gonna lay it on that cocky furball.

Four of his turtle-cousins were over at the pool table and heard about the challenge.  Collectively, all four of the cousins rallied to help Walter beat Reynaldo. All of them, except for Leo that is.

“I’m out,” Leo said, “Walt’s an elitist fuck.”

“Yeah, but not as bad as Reynaldo. You want that loud mouth Bugs wannabe to win?” replied Donny.

Leo shrugged, “I could care less. I just want someone to wipe that smug look off Walt’s face.”

“You sure this doesn’t have anything to do with Walt not inviting you to his birthday?”  Leo just took a sip of his beer, clearly still wounded from the birthday snub. Michael and Rapha both shook their heads and told Donny they’d help him.

The next day at the race, the turtle boys thought they had everything set up for a reptilian victory. While they were pretty confident the hangover would doom Reynaldo’s chances, they also set several traps for him along the route just in case.  As Donny always said, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

Unfortunately for the unethical turtles, Reynaldo showed up ready to roll.  Little did anyone know he’d been training for months leading up to this moment, even sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber.  The night before, he had taken some aspirin, drank a huge glass of water and got a good night’s sleep. Hell, most of those vodka carrot juices had no actual vodka in them!  

The race started by the old sawmill and kicked off with a single gunshot in the air.  From the crack of the gun, Reynaldo left Walt in his dust. Not even realizing there were traps set for him, Reynaldo cleared them with ease. He was on a mission and not even the underhanded efforts of a few hard-shelled scoundrels.

“Shit!” said Rapha as he came back to the swing. “This guy’s tough to take down. He cleared every trap we set! What the hell are we going to do?”

Beyond exhausted, listening to his brothers botch this plan over and over, Leo decided to put an end to this gong show. 

“I’ll tell you what you’re going to do.  I’m going to ninja kick the damn rabbit!”

They just stared with blank faces. He glared back at them and said in an icy tone, “I’m gonna finish what you meatheads couldn’t. When that rabbit comes by I’m gonna hop on the rope, swing down there, do a double cartwheel, and then drive my foot into his stupid, cute face like a goddamn ninja.”

Just then, Reynaldo came running around the corner feeling good about his time. He felt a PR coming on. As if in Matrix-style ultra slow-mo from the trees (turtles move like molasses even when ninja kicking), Leo came swinging down, and managed to hit a double cartwheel right at Reynaldo. Before Reynaldo could react, this turtle drove his foot right into Reynaldo’s adorable nose, which quickly burst into a bloody river. 

The three other turtles came “running” (again, so f’n slow) down to see what happened. They found Reynaldo laid the fuck out six feet off the path, and Leo just standing over him with a smile on his face. 

“Jesus fucking Christ Leo!  Did you kill him?” said a shocked Donny.

“Nah, he’s still breathing. Out cold though,” he said as he chuckled a little. “He’ll wake up in a half-hour with a headache, wondering what the fuck happened.”  

The four of them heard footsteps. It was Walt.

“Quick,” said Michael. “Drag him under that tree and make it look like he’s napping.”

The four of them set Reynaldo’s limp body under a shady tree with one hand draped over his face to cover the damage. When Walt pulled up, slow and steady as the adage says, he slowly stopped and tiptoed over to Reynaldo, careful not to wake him up. He stared for a second and then a smug look came over his face which confirmed in his mind “slow and steady wins the race.” The boys had to hold down Leo, who wanted to jump Walt when he saw that smug look.

Walt continued on to the finish and won convincingly! He threw a party and invited everyone. Except Leo. 

Epilogue: Some years later, these very same turtles (not Walt) accidentally walked through some radioactive ooze, became gigantic, and met a rat who taught them a few tricks. They went onto great fame and fortune and lots of pizza eating.  But that’s another story….