Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tale of the Turtle and the Hare

The story goes like this. There was once a hare that was convinced that he was the fastest critter in the world. Hare was so full of himself that he bragged to anyone that would stop long enough to hear the tale, how he was the fastest in the world. Hare claimed that he could out run anyone, anytime.
One day the turtle was passing by on his way to the river for a drink of water. Hare cornered the poor turtle and bragged about himself for quite a while. Turtle had heard enough and as the Hare bragged on, he challenged the Hare to a race. The Hare was so suprised that he stopped talking about himself for a minute and stared at Turtle with his mouth hanging open. The very idea, the hare laughed, at the thought of a turtle thinking that he could out run him, the fasted animal in the world! So, Hare took the Turtle's challenge and they agreed to meet the next morning bright and early.
The next morning, the Hare was at the agreed meeting place, bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to run. Turtle was there as well, standing quietly at the starting line.
Mr. Crow agreed to call the start of the race. Standing between the two, Mr. Crow held out his wings, instructed the racers to begin when he dropped his wings to his side and began to count.Three, two, one....GO! Mr. Crow cawed as his wings dropped to his side. Everyone watched as Hare sprinted away, leaving a small cloud of dust in his wake. They watched and laughed at Mr. Turtle as he plodded along, slowly behind Hare. The atmosphere had taken on a holiday feel as the crowd gathered at the finish line to await the two racers.
Meanwhile, Hare had gotten to about the half way point and looking back saw no sign of the Turtle. So, he lay down in some soft grass beside the path to rest a minute. He was so sure of himself that he actually fell asleep. A short time later, along came Turtle, plodding along at a steady even pace. His gaze never leaving the pathway, he continued past the sleeping, boastful Hare.
Some time had passed when the Hare awoke from his nap, rested and ready to run, he glanced down the pathway.
Laughing he turned to continue the race so sure was he that Turtle was far behind. As the Hare ran toward the finish line, he imagined everyone cheering him on and how he would boast of his speed as he danced across the finish line.
As Hare rounded the final curve in the pathway, he saw Turtle! How in the world could Turtle have gotten ahead of him, it was just impossible! No one in the world could beat him! He was the fastest, speediest animal in the world! Hare poured on the speed as he desperately tried to reach the finish line before Turtle but it was too late. Turtle trundled across the finish line before Hare could reach it. Hare fell over his own big feet in his haste and shock. Looking up, Hare saw the crowd gathering around the Turtle, slapping him on the shell, shaking his hand. He watched as Mr. Crow held up Turtle's hand and proclaimed him the winner!

The moral of this story is: Speed, while a good thing for a short while, rarely wins the race. Steady moving toward the goal, keeping an even pace will get you to the finish line.

The reason for this retelling of the Turtle and the Hare story is because of my realizing how we all are rushing around, trying to win the race. Never thinking about how simply keeping our speed steady, our eyes fixed on the goal, will get us there in much better time and with alot less pain.

I realized this while walking with my daughter Kacie, early this morning. She is a person that doesn't get in a hurry but she always accomplishes what she sets out to do. And she does it well. Me, I rush around trying to get things done, completely messing things up in the process. Kacie starts out walking with me, but by the time we've gone 1/4th of a mile, she's pulling away. Me, I am getting exausted! I began trying to "keep up" and realized it wasn't gonna happen very quickly. So, I generally finish my walk about 1/2 a mile behind, but I get there, winded and tired. Kacie, she's already there, resting and enjoying a good ole' stretch. Who says our children can't teach us?

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