The most watched trial in Arctic history has come to a close. This time the bunny won the race.

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As our readers well know, four years of hard-fought litigation, hundreds of thousands of fish in bearister fees, and the rapt attention of the animal community all came about as a result of a children’s fable. We’ve all heard the story countless times. The cocksure hare challenged the modest tortoise to a race, sure to not only win, but also embearass his foe. Unfortunately for the hare, the story goes, the tortoise played the long game and came out the winner. “Slow and steady wins the race” instantly became a mantra for generations of cubs.

But like many good stories, the real loser was the truth, and a certain bunny rabbit was not going to take it anymore. Ms. B. Rabbit, an amateur historian, uncovered archival materials demonstrating that when Aesop wrote his fable, he knew that the actual race involved a rabbit, not a hare. And the rabbit not only won, he trounced the tortoise (known as Monsieur Tortue). Ms. Rabbit asked Aesop’s heirs (no pun intended) to issue a retraction, but they refused. So, like any good bunny, she hired a bearister and brought suit.

Enter the “most feared Bearister in the Arctic,” Pablo Esco Bear. Pablo (or “PB” to his friends) took the unusual step of filing suit in Arctic court, even though neither party was domiciled in the Arctic. Ms. Bunny is a citizen of Bunnyfornia and Aesop’s descendants live in Greece. Undeterred, PB invoked an Arctic choice of forum clause which he appended to his email communications with the Aesop family. The Aesops hired Oso Bearo, the famous Spanish-Arctic Bearister. Oso was promptly mauled by PB and thus the case thus remained in the Arctic.

Four years and 18 maulings later, PB got in front of a jury of his bears. And then the magic happened. Over the course of a 4-week trial, which involved PB riding a unicycle while juggling, break dancing, and performing what can only be described as improv comedy, PB secured a stunning victory.

The 9-bear jury found in favor of B. Rabbit on her main claim that Aesop’s fable was knowingly false and damaged the reputation of the entire rabbit/hare community. Further, the jury made a finding that it is libel per se to call a rabbit a “hare”. (Hares, like rabbits, are in the Lagomorpha­ family but they are larger and less social than their bunny cousins.)   

A stunned courtroom watched as the jury awarded damages: 3.2m fish and an injunction prohibiting Aesop and his heirs (again, no pun intended) from falsely claiming that any tortoise or turtle-like creature won any race against the Lagomorpha community.

Beary Bearenstein