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The Tortoise vs. the Hare

By Anne Forline

Special to the NEWS

A feeble attempt to re-write history took place at the Small Animal Show recently at the NJA3 program (by EIRC) at Cold Springs School.

At the show, John and Nick Orsino of Gloucester City treated children to an up close look at their personal collection of turtles, tortoises and amphibians.

They saw box turtles, Spade-Footed Toads, Cuban Tree Frogs, a Leopard Gecko and a Yellow Footed Tortoise, and learned lots of facts from the Orsinos, such as the dietary habits of the creatures, what their growth, weight and life spans are, and how to tell the difference between a male and female box turtle.

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Look at their eyes, males usually have orange eyes while females usually have green eyes.

As the show drew to a close, “Patches,” a Holland Lop Bunny, was brought in to try to unseat the smug tortoise in a rematch of the infamous race, the Tortoise vs. the Hare.

The outcome should have had book authors scrambling to re-write the tale’s conclusion. It was not to be. The Orsinos pitted Jack, aka “Speedy,” an African Sulcata Tortoise, against Patches in a much-hyped smack down that ended almost as soon as it began.

While Jack constantly had his eye on the finish line and scrambled to cross it, Patches was distracted by the roar of the crowd and kept turning back to the audience for head scratching and petting.

   Although Jack won fair and square, the children had their own opinions as to who was going to win the race.

Nathan Ritchie, 5, said, “The rabbit was going to win because rabbits are fast and turtles aren't.”

Gavin Shoemaker, 7, questioned, "How can a turtle win in real life? The rabbit should have won. The book said the turtle won, and in the movie, it ended it a tie.”

To celebrate his win and for maintaining glory for all tortoises, Jack was awarded a NJA3 First Place place Medal of Honor.

Patches, meanwhile, was forced to take the hop of shame back to his crate for the long ride home.

source Gloucester city News

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