Gateway to the Classics: The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by Clifton Johnson
The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by  Clifton Johnson

The Hare That Was Sent to York

O NCE upon a time the men of Gotham wanted to send a message to their landlord who lived in York. This was before there were any railroads or mails, and if a message was to be sent, some one must go with it. But none of the citizens of Gotham wished to go as far as York. "How, then, shall we send our message?" said they.

"I caught a hare to-day," said one man, "and hares are very swift of foot, you know. Why not let him carry it?"

"Very good," said all; "we will get the letter ready and we will tell the hare the right way to go and he shall carry it."

So the letter was written and sealed and tied to the hare's neck. "First you go to Nottingham," said they to the hare, "and then you go straight on by the main highway to York, and the letter is marked for our landlord who lives near York Cathedral. You can ask when you get there which house is his. Commend us to him and give him the letter."

The hare, as soon as he was out of their hands, left the road and ran off across a field, and some of the men of Gotham cried out after it, "Stop! stop! You must go to Nottingham first."

"Let the hare alone," said one of those who was in the company. "He can tell a nearer way than the best of us all. Let him go."

"Yes," said another, "that is a clever creature. Let him alone. He will not keep the highway for fear of dogs."


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