Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tortoise and the Hare

A conceited hare boasted about her speed to everyone who would listen. "Not even the North Wind is as fast as I am!" she declared. "No animal in the forest could beat me in a race!"
          Now, a tortoise nearby grew tired of such bragging. "We've all heard you talk, but we've never seen you run," she said. "Why don't you race with me, and then we'll see who is the fastest."
          The hare burst out laughing. "I could beat you standing still!" she exclaimed. But she agreed that they would race to an oak tree around a bend in the road. In an instant they were off-the hare soon out of sight, the tortoise plodding along step by patient step.
          "I've practically won already!" thought the hare as she dashed around the bend in the road. "I could stretch out here and take a little rest, and still beat that tortoise by a mile." And she settled down by the side of the road. She planned to jump up and finish the race the minute she saw the tortoise. But the grass was so soft and the sun was so warm that before the hare realized it, she had fallen fast asleep.
          Meanwhile, the tortoise continued on. Slowly she came around the bend in the road and passed the sleeping hare. She was only a few feet from the oak tree when the hare woke from her nap.
          Seeing the tortoise so close to the finish, the hare leaped up and tore along the road as if the hounds were after her. But she was too late. Before she could reach the oak tree, the tortoise had already been declared winner by the crowd of cheering bystanders.

Slow and steady wins the race

          Most people already know this story. There is also another saying that is similar to this and that is: Quality over Quantity. You should always take your time when you are doing things to get it done right, not just speed through it. There also is a background moral to the story. Don't be so self-centered and overly confident. But since many people know this story and are very familiar with it, I'm going to do a little twist. I had an "interview" with the tortoise right after his race and I wrote down what we said...

Me: Mr. Tortoise, Mr. Tortoise, how do you feel now that you have beaten the hare?
Tortoise: Well I feel now that I have beaten him, he'll stop bragging about it and stop being so arrogant. I also feel that this is a great lesson for the kids to take quality over quantity. Just to teach them slow and steady wins the race.
Me: What did you think when you saw the hare sleeping in the grass?
Tortoise: I was thinking, "What a self- centered, lazy jerk" He couldn't even stay focused long enough to finish a race.
Me: What made you challenge the hare?
Tortoise: Just seeing him brag about something that we have never seen him do. Oh and I'm turning into a couch potato and I thought racing him would be a great way to stay in shape.
Me: What will you do now?
Tortoise: I guess I'll just go back to my old job. Oh and keep that hare in line. I might teach him to be less self- centered, and who knows, maybe he'll change.

          This interview was just a creative way to see things in the tortoise's point of view. In real life you should always stay focused and take your time to get things right, or you'll end up bragging about something and getting shown up by the least likely person just like the hare.

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