The deer made fun of the snail because of his slowness, so the latter challenged the former to a race. "We will race to the well on the other side of the plaza," said the snail. "All right," replied the deer.
On the day of the race the deer ran swiftly to the well, and when he got there he called, "Mr. Snail, where are you?" "Here I am,"said the snail, sticking his head up out of the well. The deer was very much surprised, so he said: "I will race you to the next well." "Agreed," replied the snail. When the deer arrived at the next well, he called as before, "Mr. Snail, where are you?" "Here I am," answered the snail. "Why have you been so slow? I have been here a long time waiting for you." The deer tried again and again, but always with the same result; until the deer in disgust dashed his head against a tree and broke his neck.
Now the first snail had not moved from his place, but he had many cousins in each of the wells of the town and each exactly resembled the other. Having heard the crows talking of the proposed race, as they perched on the edge of the wells to drink, they determined to help their cousin to win it, and so, as the deer came to each well,there was always a snail ready to stick his head out and answer,"Here I am" to the deer's inquiry.