Comparing Trickster Tales

The story of the Hero Twins is an example of a trickster tale. In their comments last night, several students mentioned the story of the tortoise and the hare (not to be confused with hair). For today’s class, please read the story of the tortoise and the hare as told by the people of Mozambique hereΒ (p.19-21). Once you have finished, post a comment which refelects on the following things:

1. Now that you have read a couple examples of trickster tales, what similarities do you think trickster stories share?

2. How is the story of the tortoise and the hare that you read today different than the one you might remember from when you were younger or the ones we heard and watched in class?

Explore posts in the same categories: Class Texts, Well of Sacrifice

65 Comments on “Comparing Trickster Tales”

  1. CaseyM Says:

    I liked this version because it didn’t involve a race but it had a nice little trick at the end to show that the Tortoise tricked the hare and won. πŸ™‚

  2. GreggC Says:

    I agree with Casey. I think this version was better then the other one. It shows how smart tortoise is.

  3. ssotolongo29 Says:

    I think the first people to be tricked have no clue. If the tricksters do it directly after they do it to the first person the second is clueless to. If they wait a while people start to talk about it and people aren’t fooled. They both have smart ideas and seemed to have planned it for a while. In WOS they twins figured they could loose for a while to make them win even more. In the Tortoise and the Hare he seems to not like losing at all and jsut makes himself repeatedly win.
    Silvia πŸ™‚

  4. jduke18 Says:

    I liked this version because it showed some other animals that were tricked while tortoise was eating all the potatoes without hare knowing it. The Hare was easily tricked by tortoise.

  5. jweintraub28 Says:

    1. I think what most of the trickster stories have in common is that the weaker animal, such as a tortoise, wins. Also the animal who is bigger usually thinks he is going to win, and then he gets overconfident and loses.

    2.This Story is actually the same exact one i have known all my life, so nothing is different, or has changed.

    ~Jacob~ πŸ™‚

  6. jduke18 Says:

    The trickster stories are similar because most of them include not using strength but cleverness. I like all trickster stories because they all show how people can be tricked and how that can relate in real life

  7. Joanna W. Says:

    It is a story where an animal is tricked. The hare is tricked in this story like how he lost in the the original tortise and the hare. This story was about Hare trying to trick tortise but not. In this story Hare still thinks he has beaten tortise and is so much better than tortise when he is not. Tortise beat the hare in both versions. But in the original it was a race and not them trying to steal things.

  8. cdworsky16 Says:

    The similarities are that the opponent who is supposed to lose ends up winning, this is because he out wits his opponent, or out thinks him.
    In this version i think it was different because they did not race. The hare was stealing and the tortoise tricked him by stealing then eating what he stole.

  9. JohnR Says:

    I think they both are smart and clever. In the future they wil eventually get caught for cheating and being tricksters. The people who bragg the most are usualy the ones who get it coming to them.

  10. mgordon26 Says:

    This version was preety good and different than the one that we head when we were kids because the hare in this story had thought that he outwitted him but it was the other way around. The version that we read shows a better example of outwitting a stronger force for me.

  11. AhmadA Says:

    1. i think similarites between all tickster stories is tht one character fools two or three characters and then another character comes in and fools the person that is fooling every body else

    2. The one that i read today is different because this one is that i read is about the rabit fooling everybody and the other one was a race

  12. anyangoro9 Says:

    1. I think that most of the trickster stories always have someone that is bragging about themselves or think that they are better than everyone else, but it always backfires.

    2. The one that I saw today is different because there are several tortoise in this one but it is usually one and he is the only one that out smarts the hare

    Alma πŸ™‚

  13. akenyon5 Says:

    I think that all trickster stories have more than one trickster in the midst because the tortise and the hare are both tricksters. I think that this story was different from the others because the tortios was already known as a trickster, and the tortoise and the hare didn’t race. Instead, they were both trying to trick each other,and it turned out that the hare got tricked, even though the hare was the one that tried to trick tortiose in the first place.

    Andrew Kenyon

  14. dvandergrift8 Says:

    Well the video was really funny and so was the story. I think that the tortoise out smarted the bunny (rabbit) in both because the tortoise took time to think it out also in the hero story the people that won they thought it through also. In the heros story i think it was just a little bit more violent the other stories. Well the story that i was told when i was younger the tortoise always said “slow and steady wins the race”. Also the rabbit always wanted to show off and while he was showing off he went to sleep and when he woke up the tortoise was already done. The one that we just read the tortoise had many friends so that the rabbit would think that he won. I personally like the new version better.

  15. CarolineW Says:

    I think what most stories have in common is that the animal that isnt suppose to win, usally wins. The animal that is suppose to win loses because he gets over confindent. It is different then the other ones ive seen because usally the hare falls asleep and the tortise wins. In this one the tortise cheats and still wins. πŸ™‚

  16. ssotolongo29 Says:

    I like this version but it is different than the version i heard. he hare was lazy and took a nap and the tortoise went and won. That is the one i heard. i like this one to though.

  17. acorn16 Says:

    I think all the story’s are similar because they all have an animal getting tricked. They all fool more than one characters. It then turns out that the animal getting tricked then tricks the other animals. The one I read was different. The one I know is when the tortis and the hare are racing.


  18. SamiF Says:

    I think that similarities that many trickster stories share are that one, the “underdog”, tends to be smarter than the one who is faster/ stronger. The “underdog” then outsmarts the faster/stronger character. Also, another similarity is that the trickster is norally faced with challenges to defeat.

    This story of the tortoise and the hare that we read today is different from the one that I remember from when I was younger because there is no race and the hare is just as clever as the tortoise.

  19. RachelT Says:

    1.Some similarities in trickster stories is that usually the opponent of the trickster is always full of themselves. The tickster is not full of themselves and wins in a good way (sometimes)!

    2. The version that I saw today was different than the one in my past because the one I saw when I was young, was a lot nicer so that it wouldn’t influence me to do the same as the hare. The one that I saw today was meaner but, it won’t influence me because I’m older and I know better. Bye πŸ™‚

  20. nverderame4 Says:

    They are partially different because in this story tortoise is a girl. The other story thinking he can trick tortoise tries to make him go away so he can eat the potatoes. But when tortoise refuses just like in the other story tortoise tricks hare and gets the potatoes. The one today was similar to one before where hare tries to get someone to grow a garden for his family but hare steals all of his garden after its all grown So I think the trickster tales involves a trickster getting tricked in the end by someone unexpected.


  21. mhutzenbuhler14 Says:

    1. The similarities I think are that the antagonist always gets overconfident and cocky and losses the race. The protagonist tends to be humble and intelligent and always seems to find a way to win in the end.

    2 I think that the difference was that the tortoise outsmarted a clever rabbit insted of outracing him. The rabbit also did not take any naps.

    -This is Matthew Hutzenbuhler signing off goodbye!”:-)”

  22. cmizelle13 Says:

    -this is from Celia

    The similatities between “trickster tales” that I have noticed is that the person or animal who thinks they’re going to win (win not only races, but what their trying to get) always loses to the “googd guy”. The African folktale was a little bit different than other “trickster tales” I’ve read because it has more then two characters come into play. If you hadn’t read a trickster tale before and known that the turtoise was going to win, you might have though the hare was winning when he stole the water from the two animals guarding.

  23. CollinD Says:

    Question #1:
    I think similarities in trickster stories are that the bad person, always thinks he/she is tricking people, so, he/she does not think about while he is tricking them, for them to counter trick him/her. I also think that they all teach important lessons in different ways (how the story is told).

    Question #2:

    The version I saw today is different from the past because when you are a kid, and you see someone being appluaded and cheered on, you are influenced to be like them. I think that for people younger, play scripts have to make the version nicer, and have to put down the rabbit a lot more, possibly even making the rabbit say sorry to the turtle. The thing is now, it doesn’t matter how bad the story is,, because we know that it won’t influence us.

  24. jayr Says:

    The trickster always gets tricked. He thought he could win the race easily but he was tricked. He thought he could eat the sweet potatoes but he was tricked. This also has to do with the tortoise out smarting the hare while he doesn’t think about losing at all.

    The difference was one of them was the turtle not giving up and the other was the tortoise out smarting the hare. The old one with the race is when the tortoise doesn’t give up and this is smart because the hare stops and sleeps and shows off but the tortoise doesn’t and wins. The second one he outsmarts the hare by knowing the hare was going to try to eat the potatoes but he uses the hare’s own trick to out smart the hare.

  25. torya Says:

    1. All of them seem to have a protagonist and a antagonist. The antagonist (trickster) always seems to be cocky and selfish, and the protagonist always seems to be giving and unselfish. Because of his cockiness, the antagonist always seems to loose because he was outwitted and outsmarted by the protagonist.

    2. The classic I read in the past was about a hare and a tortoise who competed in a race, and the tortoise never gave up while the hare was stalling, thinking he was so fast that he could win anyway. This version was much different, but administrates the same moral.


  26. SydneyJ Says:

    I agree with RachelT, the trickster is usually full of themselves. The full-of-himself or herself /strong animal, (Rabbit) is usually tricked by the clever and not as strong animal. (Tortoise)

    The story of the Tortoise and the Hare that we just saw on youtube, is basically exactly the same as the story i heard when i was little. The story I heard when i was little was when the hare and the tortoise had a race and started running, halfway through the race, the hare fell asleep under a tree. So the tortoise found him, didn’t wake him up, and kept running. Soon the tortoise was at the finish line and crossed it. He won the race!!! πŸ™‚ That is the story i heard.

    *Ms. Stewart Edit: Capitalize your “i”s! I edited your two posts together and deleted the second one.*

  27. AnnaJ Says:

    I think that the trickster always gets tricked in the end, and a lot of the tricksters are stuck up, and the plans always backfire. Also in the Tortoises and the Hare we watched in class the Tortois was not a trickster, he just kept going.

    The other tortoise and the Hare stories I have heard have been based on the hare being fast and there being a race. I think this one is more original, and normally the tortoise is a guy.

  28. MinjieY Says:

    1. Most every trickster tale has a snobby braggy person and then a modest nice
    person. The snobby braggy character usually thinks they’re winning but they
    really are not.
    2. This version of the tortise and the hare is very different. The tortise in the original
    version won because of hard work. But the tortise in this story won because he
    tricked the hare. That’s what i think is different between the two stories.

  29. AlexU Says:

    A couple of similarities that realte to the trickster tales are: Number one the person/animal who trys to trick always ends-up being tricked. Another similaritie is that the trickster tales that i have read are always about animals. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the trickster tales are with animals but I think that the author trys to do that to show that animals have feelings. A couple of things that are different from the book I remember when I was little was that there was a truck coming right at the tortise. I also remember the tortise being a woman with a purse and glasses, and the hare gray and without colthes. (but not showing body parts since it was a childrens’ book
    ~ Alex

  30. npatel17 Says:

    Well the difference that I see between the two storys are…

    -In the Trickster Stories, Hare outsmarts other people other than just trying to win something from Tortoise.

    -In the stories that I was told Hare was trying to beat tortoise in a race. But in the Trickster Sories Hare was trying to outsmart Tortoise by getting the potatoes.

    -I find that in both stories the Tortoise wins the race or outsmarts the Hare.

  31. mgibbon14 Says:

    In trickster tales they always have a character that thinks he is the best and nobody is better than them. But then they find out that somebody is better than them. The story we read today was different than some stories I remember because there was not a race, but it still made the same point.

  32. kristina Says:

    Now that I have read some trickster tales I have realized that all of them have a character who outsmarts the another main character. For example in the 3 little pigs, the 3rd pigs outsmarts all of the other pigs by building his house out of something sturdy. Also, there is another character who boasts a lot and is very sure of himself. In the 3 little pigs, this character would be the wolf. This is what I have notices throughout the stories.

    The story about the tortoise and the hare that I heard by Matthew in class today was very different than the one that I grew up hearing. His story was both similar to the original and was environmental friendly. His story was about a tortoise and the hare and how the hare had a slick Ferrari car, and the tortoise had a buggy that gets great gas mileage. The tortoise was smart and always refilled when needed. Yet, since all the hare cared about was winning he never refilled. So, the hare eventually ran out of gas, and the tortoise won the race. This follows the exact same guideline that my original story followed but was told in a different way.

  33. Anne G. Says:

    I think that the story is different because the tortoise is a girl. And she was more tricky in being able to eat all the potatos before the hare came back to steal them.
    I thought this version of the to tortoise and the hare was intresting and this story was much more sneaky. And i like this version better because it is a major twist on the original.

  34. mgowan8 Says:

    I personally liked this story better than the version I had previously heard because, as Anne said, it is alot more sneaky. The differences between the two are very noticeable. They are not racing and the tortoise becomes more cunning and not so innocent.

  35. ColinY Says:

    I think all the trickter stories are similar because they involved some mean animal/person being tricked by another critter. The person that tricked people continues to do practical jokes until he/she is caught by someone smarter than him.

    It is different because the Tortoise and the Hare don’t have a race. In this story, the Hare is playing tricks on everyone one until he is finally tricked by the Tortoise. Then the Tortoise walks away knowing that he has tricked the master of all tricks.

  36. HannahC Says:

    1. Trickster stories are the same because one of them is always outsmarted. The one you think might not win is the one who ends up winning, usually that is the case.

    2. I like this version of the hare and tortise because the tortise is sneakier, and smarter. The version I heard is that the tortise just uses determination more than sneakiness, and the hare still depends on himself, and how sneaky he is.

  37. bhodgdon12 Says:

    I think in the stories there is always the smart one tricking the other one in order to win something. In some of the stories both animals are smart but the other is smarter.

    2. I think that the story we read is different than the one I know because the tortoise is a girl, they don’t have a race, and it is hot and the hare wants a drink so he tricks the animals so he could drink from the pools.

  38. vkasula2 Says:

    I think the similarities between all the trickster stories are that, first one character tricks a cuople of animals/people, but then he/she tries to do same thing to someone else but they pick the a someone who is also really clever. So the clever person/animals goes with them and pretends dumb, but once their there they do something that outsmarts the trickster.


  39. KatieP Says:

    Some similarities in trickster tales are that there seems to always have some kind of a lesson to it. In this story the lesson is not to trick other people or be mean because it will come back to you. They also always have two main characters who compete some way.
    This story is a bit different from the one I remember is that this story the tortois gets back at the hare by actually tricking him. In the one I remember the Tortois did not trick the Hare but he still did win in the compitition between them.
    -Katie πŸ™‚

  40. kking23 Says:

    I liked the race version better because in the potato story, the tortise agreed to help the hare steal potatos, but that version has more of a trickster theme to it than the original. In the story that I have heard, the tortise wins a race instead of risking his/her life stealing potatos from a farming pig…..

    In most trickster stories, on character well, tricks the other character.

    -Katherine K

  41. HurschP Says:

    I think that all the stories have suprises in common, because the people that are most likely to lose end up winnig. It has happened in all of those kinds of books I have read. So I basicly know how most trickster stories end.


  42. AlexaH Says:

    I think in all trickter talls the main charcter finds a way to out smart the vilan. The vilan will most likly make a plan to get what they want. I thought the tall we wached was differnt than the story I know because the tortis is a boy instead of a girl. Also, in my version, the hare stops and takes peoples stuff and then falls asleep 3 times. Thats how the ortis wins. πŸ™‚

  43. vkasula2 Says:

    2. The way the two stories are different are in the video they raced and in the storie the turtle outsmarted the hare about sweet potatoes.


    P.S.-How do put smly faces

  44. JoshM Says:

    Most of the trickster tales that I have heard are similar because the story involves two characters. One of these characters thinks that he or she is better in some way then the other character that is considered weak. When the two characters challenge each other or when the “better” character does something with the “weaker” character, the character that is considered weak tricks the “better” character and gets the better end of the deal.

    I think that the Tortoise and the Hare story that we watched today was different then the stories that I heard when I was younger. In both stories, the tortoise challenges the hare to a race because the hare brags about how much faster than the tortoise is. When the race begins, the hare takes the lead immediately. But in the story we watched today, the hare becomes distracted by showing off the tricks that he can do because of his speed. Then the tortoise takes the lead over the unaware hare and wins the race. But in the versions that I heard when I was younger, the hare thinks that he is beating the tortoise so much that he falls asleep. But while the hare is asleep, the tortoise takes the lead and wins the race.

  45. IvanaP Says:

    I think the similarity is that all of the stories have one character who tried to outsmart another character. He is normally the bad character and the other is the good one. The good character always wins, even though the bad character thinks he is the best. They stories always have a morale to them.

    The story I learned when I was younger was a lot less elaborate, and it was more of an original version. It was more focused on the morale, because you can learn from it. The version I heard now, is just more focued on the story.

  46. ahall11 Says:

    1. I think one thing in common that tricksters have is that they don’t really care about the person(or animal) that they are tricking and that person usually doesn’t have a very good future after they are tricked.
    2. This version of the tortoise and the hare was different beacause it was located in Africa and there were African animals in the story

  47. JonathanA Says:

    Question One- All the stories are similar because hare and his greed get him nowhere. They are also similar because tortise is being good and keeping things straight.
    Question Two- The books today are different because they have new characters. Also they are different because they are more animated and longer stories.

  48. rschleicher19 Says:

    I think that all trickster stories are alike. The trickster is very clever, and comes accross many people or animals, and eadily tricks them. However, then they come to the last person, and they think they can trick them, too, but they can’t. The trickster is normally all full of him or herself, and think they can trick or beat anyone at anything.


  49. afischbein26 Says:

    Question1; Every trickster story is similar because they have a trickster(s) and the thing(or things) that gets tricked.

    Question2: The story I read was different because the turtle and the hare didn’t race. Also the hare tricked other animals.


  50. RavenW Says:

    1.I think that all trickstrer stories are similar because there is always someone who thinks that they canfool someone else then the person they were trying to fool, fools them.
    2. This story is different because Hare doen’t think he’s faster, he thinks he can out smart someone.
    I also think that the movie was fun and enertaining. And Ms. Stewart should DO IT MORE OFTEN!

  51. RichardV Says:

    I realy like this version because I thinik it’s a good leason to not be overconfident. It’s good tobe confident but not overconfident and this I think is the best example.
    Some simalarites are that they all have the tortise outsmart the hare. The one that we read is different because it involves the hare winnig but in the end loosing to the tortise.

    Richard Van Vliet πŸ™‚

  52. EthanK Says:

    Pretty trickster. In response to the first prompt the similarities between the two stories, one could be that both the animals / humans use their brains inplace of their brawn. Also both the of the main characters didn’t really have a famous history. Those are some similaritites between the two stories.

    -Ethan πŸ™‚

  53. CharlieT Says:

    This version of the tortoise and the hare was differenet in all three stories. My childhood version was when the hare fell asleep. Story two with Bugs is when the tortoise calls his friends to trick the hare. Number three didn’t even have a race, they fought over potatoes. They showed trickery, but in different ways.

  54. ErinB Says:

    The stories have similarities like the hero twins outsmarting there enemy just as the tortoise outsmarted the hare. And in the story of the tortoise and the hair the hare falls asleep the tortoise doesn’t out smart anyone in the story we just read the tortoise outsmarts the hare. x(

  55. akaufman4 Says:

    I think that the Hero Twins are like the Tortoise and the Hare (trick wise) because both characters in the story trick each other to get what they want. The Hero Twins try to win the ball game and the tortoise tries to β€œwin the potatoes”. The Hare only tricked other people because he was selfish. πŸ˜‰

    Ayla Kaufman
    ” There is no point to life without chocolate”

  56. RianaS Says:

    The Tortioise and the Hare story I know from when I was little was different from this one. The one I know, the tortoise doesn’t trick the hare, the hare is just so full of himself and thinks he can bat anyone and anything. If the hare didn’t fall asleeep, the tortoise would’ve never won. The Tortoise and the hare we watched today, the tortoise purposely tricked the hare, making his relatives make it seem like he was speedy and always ahead.

  57. ZakD Says:

    1. Trickster stories are the same because most of the time there are two characters. One is outsmarted and the other is the one outsmarting the other one. The “Tortoise and the Hare” is one of them.
    2. The one I saw as a kid is the tortoise beat the hare in the race because the hare fell asleep when he was far ahead. Then tortoise passed him and won when the hare woke up. In this version the Hare is drinking the pool water from chief’s pools. Every time he tricks the animals guarding the pool. Then he tries to trick the tortoise and fails because the tortoise got in the bag when the hare didn’t know it.

    Zak davis

  58. SydneyT Says:

    I think each trickster story starts with someone mistreating the trickster at first, but then, the the person comes to trick the trickster, and they fail by giving in to the tricksters plan.

    This tortoise and the hare is different because it took place in Africa and they used a different trick and different animals.

  59. akaufman4 Says:

    The one that we watched in class was about how the Hare was selfish and was stealing water and potatoes. The Tortoise in the class video tricked the Hare and ate all of his potatoes. This story was different from the one that I had heard in elementary school because the one I was used to hearing was how the Hare just fell asleep. ;0

    Ayla Kaufman
    ” There is no point to life without chocolate.”

  60. KaavyaA Says:

    Question 1:
    I think the two stories are similar in a few ways. For one thing, they both include a tortoise and hare. (This is not really related.) Another way they are similar is that in both stories, the tortoise tricks the hare. One more reason that they are similar is that the hare always tries to outwit or trick the tortoise.

    Question 2:
    The story that I have heard when I was growing up was when the hare took a nap because he though he would still win. In the story I read today, I read that the hare was tricked because the tortoise started the race but his relatives were waiting at different areas so they could jump in before the hare reached that area.

    Kaavya S. Ashok πŸ™‚

  61. CharlieT Says:

    In these trickster tales the unexpected person usually out smarts the hot shot. The tortiose and the hair are racing and the unexpected chararcter (tortiose) wins by out smarting the hare. In the youtube clip (Lonney Tunes) the tortiose one by out smarting the top thinker of the woods.

  62. KendallB. Says:

    πŸ™‚ attempt for a smiley πŸ˜‰ second attempt

    All trickster tales involve two main characters: one who has outsmarted others in the past and is greedy or proud and a more modest character that is also very smart. The modest character always wins except for the extremely stupid stories when nobody wins.

    The story we read in the book is very similar to one I have read except it was an Anansi story. Anansi is the trickster and a friend is the modest smart character. In the story you can’t count to 5 or else you will die. Anansi has 5 haystacks layed out. One animal comes along and counts the hay stacks because Anansi told him to. Then another does the same and meets the same fate. The third animal that walks by (why is it always three) he gets Anansi to count to three.
    Kendall Bell

  63. iblank20 Says:

    I think that a common trait in trickster tales is that in most of the stories the characters are talking animals(Little Red Riding Hood, Tortise and the hare, Mytholigy stories). Not all of the stories have talking animals, but alot of stories do. Another common trait in trickster tales is that they were written long ago.
    The differene of the story that I read and the one that I already knew is that, in the storyof the tortise and the hare that I knew, nobody was very clever. Also, in the story that I read, the characters tricked each other, and in the one that I knew, the story was just about determination. The two story’s premises are different, they just include the same animals.
    Isabelle Blank

  64. sstohlman28 Says:

    1st prompt
    I think something that all trickster tales share are a know-it-all kind of character, like the Hare. Trickster Tales also usually have a second character that out smarts the know-it-all, like the Tortoise. They know-it-all will trick other animal/people then the character like Tortoise outsmarts the know-it-all. That is what usually happens in every Trickster Tale.
    2nd Prompt
    At my old shool we read a book about a hare and a tortoise. They had a race because they made a bet. Before we went farther into the book we were asked which character we thought would win the race. Of course I picked the hare because I all the animals were cheering for him. Only a few kids thought the turtle would win. In the end we found out that the tortoise won bcause he was determined to reach his goal. πŸ˜‰

  65. KatieS Says:

    I think that all trickster tales have one main character that is the underdog in some way(s). Usually, in the end the underdog beats the character who’s expected to beat them by using determination and their brain to think out and succeed at seemingly impossible tasks (like a tortoise beating a hare in a race). Usually the character who’s expected to win learns his lesson, although sometimes they die.

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