The Tortoise and the Hare are baaacckkk!! Aesop Owl interviews Bubba T. Bulldog and Jack Rabbit (as opposed to Jack Sparrow) to find out what they've been up to since last year's Speedbo Race.
Aesop Owl, Jack Rabbit, and Bubba T. Bulldog are ensconced on a comfy outdoor patio at Jill Rabbit’s Espresso Bar on a hill overlooking the Speedbo Race Track.
Owl takes a sip of his Chai tea and opens his notebook. “So, gentlemen, glad you agreed to this interview while Speedbo is going fast and furious. I’ll make this as quick as I can so you can get back to the race.”
“No worries, Owl.” Jack leans back and drains his mug of swamp rum. “I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll make it up in #1K1HR with Pepper Basham and Carol Moncado and the gang. Them’s some foxy ladies to be racing with, ya ken?”
“I see.” Owl clears his throat. “Well, as I was saying, let’s talk a bit about last year’s race. It was a draw, from what I understand.”
“Now, Owl, you know I won that race. Bubba T. barely crossed the finish line.”
Bubba T. lifts head, the veins in his bull neck popping out, beady eyes shifting from Jack to Aesop Owl and back. “I finished. All that matters.”
“That you did, Bubba T, that you did. Congratulations to you both.” Owl scribbles on his notepad. “Now, moving on to this year. I’d like to know what you two have been up. Have you been practicing for this year’s race? Bubba T., we’ll start with you…”
Jack jumps ups. “While you two are gabbing, I’m going to find something else to drink. Savvy?”
Bubba T. watches him go, then turns to Aesop Owl, blinking slowly. “I did learn something from last year’s race. I’m slow. I know it, and so does everybody else. But I’m steady, and I’m in it to win, to get to the finish line. This race lasts an entire month, and one thing I can do…I can hold out for the long haul.”
“No one can deny that, Bubba T.”
Bubba T. eyes Owl’s skinny little legs and holds up one of his own limbs as thick as a half-grown sapling. “Doing leg lifts in swamp mud 24/7 puts one of those highfalutin’ exercise machines to shame. But last year’s race taught me something, and I’ve been working on it.”
Aesop Owl leans in closer, pen poised as he waits for the scoop from Bubba T. "Yes?"
“Sprints?” Owl blinks. “You’re joking.”
“Loggerheads never joke.” A menacing tone enters Bubba T.’s gravelly voice.
“But sprints?” Owl shakes his head. “A loggerhead can’t sprint—“
“Maybe not like a jackrabbit, but I can put on a burst of speed here, one there when the need arises.” Bubba T. sits back and smiles a sly little grin. “It adds up.”
“Hmmpf.” Owl writes some more on his pad. “What about Jack? He’s already fast. He’s takes off like a blue streak. Really, there’s nothing he could do to improve.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“Really?” Owl ponders.
“Endurance training. Jack thinks I don’t know, but I’ve seen him down at the swamp, doing leg lifts in the mud. Yep, he’s been building his endurance. He's planning to stay the course this year.”
“What with his bursts of speed, and his improved endurance, he’s going to be hard to beat.” Owl shakes his head, eyes wide. “Really hard.”
“Oh, I’ve still got an ace in the hole.” Bubba T. lifts his buttercup of swamp rum and salutes the firefly sign over the door, smiling as Jack’s laughter floats out the open door. “Here’s to Jill’s Espresso Bar.”
Jack snuck out on the interview, but Aesop will corner him later, and we’ll see how that endurance training is going. Until next year....Jack and Bubba T. bid you farewell!
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in
and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com Mississippi