Short Stories » The Hare and the Tortoise
The Hare and the Tortoise
There once was a speedy Hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, the Tortoise challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.
The Hare ran down the road for a while and then paused to rest. He looked back at the tortoise and cried out, "How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?"
The Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, "There is plenty of time to relax."
The Tortoise walked and walked, never ever stopping until he came to the finish line.
The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise that they woke up the Hare. The Hare stretched, yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise had already crossed the finish line.
Moral: Slow and steady wins the race.
This is the story that we have all grown up with. But recently, two additions have been proposed to the story.
After being defeated by the tortoise, the hare did some soul-searching. He knew that though he had tried hard in the beginning, he was not consistent, and had grown overconfident. He was determined to undo his mistakes, and invited tortoise for another race. This time, the rabbit was careful to run the whole distance, and of course, emerged the winner.
Moral: Fast and consistent may be better than slow and steady.
Well, after emerging the loser in the second race, the tortoise thought long and hard. He knew that in any traditional terrain, the hare would win, if he was fast and consistent. Therefore, he thought of a non-traditional terrain for the race. Then he invited the rabbit for another race. This time the rabbit laughed out loud, thinking that the tortoise was out of his head. But the tortoise insisted that there should be another race and the terrain would be decided by the tortoise. The rabbit agreed to the idea.
The race began. The rabbit was leading in front, with the tortoise far back trundling along. Around half way through the race, they came across a river. The rabbit halted on the bank of the river, wondering how to cross the river. Meanwhile, the tortoise approached the river slowly, got in to the water, swam across, climbed up on the other bank, ran the last few kilometers, and won the race.
Moral: when your capabilities are below par, choose a playing ground that gives you a natural advantage.