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Toad's Race With Deer

This legend was translated into English for us by Andrea López Delgado.

One day Bodrega (Toad) said to Siung (Deer), "Let us have a race, to see which one of us is faster."

"What?" said Deer. "You are a worthless runner. Why would I want to have a race with you?"

"Just the same," said Toad, "I want to see which of us is faster. Won't you race with me? I'll bet a lot of money."

"Oh, well then sure," said Deer, "let's have a race. After four days, we will meet back here and see who runs the fastest."

When the day of the race came, very early in the morning, Toad got together with many other toads and told them to hide themselves, one by one, along the side of the road. "You must all stay hidden, and each one of you must say 'here I am, ahead of you!' when you hear Deer approaching. Meanwhile, I will return to the finish line." That was what Toad told them.

At the appointed time, Toad and Deer met for the race. Deer said "Well, you're the one who wanted to bet on which of us is faster; let's find out." So the two place themselves at the starting line, and when they shouted "Go!" they ran forward together. But Deer sprinted far ahead, and Toad returned to the finish line.

After a while, Deer asked "where are you, Toad?"

"Here I am ahead of you!" called another toad from further up the path.

"He is ahead of me!" said Deer to himself. "Unbelievable. I must double my efforts to run more quickly."

After a while, Deer asked again "where are you, Toad?"

"Here I am ahead of you!" called a different toad from further up the path.

"He's not going to beat me," said Deer, "I'll run faster than ever," and he put all his energy into running as fast as he possibly could.

"Where are you, Toad?" gasped Deer one final time.

"Here I am ahead of you!" was the reply he heard in the distance.

And when he heard that, Deer, past his endurance level, had to stop. "I give up," he said. "You win the bet. I'm never racing with you again."

That was how Toad tricked Deer.

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