As I may have mentioned, I am a chaotic writer/artist. As a result of this I can never seem to work on just one thing at a time, or two or three for that matter. Currently I am working, mostly in my mind, on a series of paintings based upon the great race between the turtle and the hare. They were to be based upon an idea I had of a darker version of how the race went. While working out the semantics of how this painting would work, I decided I should write the story first. This was supposed to be a short story of the dark side of the race, but I suspect by the time I’m finished that I will have a short novel on my hands. Needless to say, the story begins with a wager between Mortimer the turtle and Jack, the fastest rabbit in the Woods Hill Forest. This sets off a chain of events leading to the story that we all think we know so well. In this version of the story, Mortimer and Jack were far from the only participants in the race. In fact so many of Woods Hill’s residents signed up, that the sign up sheet was taken down. The race was eventually limited to the first twelve participants, due to the fact that the clearing that the race was to take place in simply could not accommodate any more. Mortimer had wagered his beautiful home against Jack’s rundown mud hut that he could beat Jack and any other takers in a race. To say that Mortimer’s beautiful and brilliant fiancee Shirley was not thrilled with the idea would be an understatement for the ages. Shirley is our main antagonist in this story. Shirley first tries to talk some sense into Mortimer, but he was quite a stubborn turtle and his mind was made up. Shirley decides that she will have to take things into her own capable hands. Shirley does so, with some help from her friend, Marie the hen. Marie just so happened to know everything about everybody, and for that reason was a perfect accomplice for this particular plots. Shirley used Marie to find out the weaknesses of all of the participants. She then put into motion a chain of events that led to Mortimer winning the race. As the story of old goes, the rabbit lets his ego get in the way and the turtle proves that slow and steady wins the race. A nice heartfelt little lesson, but not the case in this particular story. Don’t get me wrong, Jack’s ego is a factor in his loss, but plotting and scheming really won this race. Shirley was one cunning turtle and did not want to lose her home, because her fiancee had made a wager he could never win. Atleast not without her help. Leo the enormous lion of Woods Hole was one of the participants in the race. He had grown quite fond of a field mouse named Milly and her sisters. As you might know, Milly had helped Leo out with a prickly situation involving a thorn in his paw shortly after he had migrated to Woods Hole. Milly happened to be another of the twelve participants, but let’s focus on Leo for now. Leo also happened to have a feud with Samuel, a gigantic brown bear who also happened to be a participant in the race. Shirley figured that she could use this feud and Leo’s fondness for the field mice to her advantage and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Marie was not a fan of the saying, but agreed that this might be Shirley’s best route to take. Their feud was mostly based on ego, a king of the jungle sort of thing. If she could convince Leo that his mice friends, whose safety he felt responsible for, were in danger because of Samuel and also convince Samuel that his food cache was in danger because of Leo, they would both be too distracted for a silly race. I’ll leave out the gruesome details, mostly because I haven’t gotten around to all of them at this point, but you get the idea. Its time for me to go though, so I hope you all enjoyed a glimpse into my little tale.