Myth Buster IV
The Tortoise and the Hare
A very long time ago a parable was well used to try to convey the fact that haste causes waste and that a steady approach to a task is better than just humping in and haring ahead. The story is well used to this day, most people will have at least heard of the ancient parable either by name or can relay the content if asked.
This is a modern reworking to show how we never really connect with anyone and how we believe things are, is not necessarily how they are to others in the group.
The Tortoise and the Hare
One fine day the Mr tortoise was foraging for something good to eat and decided to cross a field heading to the lush patch of munch able greenery down by the river bank at the opposite end of the field he was approaching. As the tortoise was a single-minded creature with a steady purpose he liked to walk in straight lines except when obstacles get in his way he just goes around them if possible. He was in his own opinion a very sociable tortoise and was usually well in with the crowd and his family, he had never learned to converse with any other species and had decided that there would be time for that later in life.
At the same time as Mr tortoise was entering the field Mr hare was full of beans and felt like frolicking and wanted to race around to his own delight, like Mr tortoise he had never learned to speak to other species and unlike Mr tortoise he had no intentions of ever learning as he felt he could read others well and always considered he could always make himself understood. He had tried to get his litter mates to come out to race and leap like March was in full swing but they all chose to go munching instead. So he was leaping and bounding and skitting all over the place then he caught sight of Mr tortoise as he levelled and started to cross the field to the river bank.
Mr hare bounded right up to Mr tortoise and stopped right in front of him impeding his progress. Mr hare began by asking Mr tortoise (in hare of course) to race him around the edge of the field to Mr tortoises obvious destination the river bank. As all he got from the tortoise who don’t have big body language moves anyway was a steady stare. Mr hare repeated his offer as he leaned back on his haunches and raised his front paws in a rapid motion to show the dumb tortoise his speed. Mr tortoise waited and watched the jabbering hare to see what his intentions were and to gauge if he should just go around the obstacle and then continue to his waiting meal. As they both eyed one another trying to work out the others intentions, Mr tortoise decided the hare was just amusing himself by getting in his way. Mr hare asked his question again and still got no response. By this time Mr tortoise belly rumbled and he began to feel the need to press on and so turned away from the belligerent hare and lined up with the hedgerow. The hare waited till he was parallel with the hedges and took up a position next to Mr hare still blocking his normal progress. Mr hare thought just my luck an obstinate hare who could should have known better. Mr tortoise turned his head at the same time as Mr hare turned to look at him and they stared at each other for a bit then Mr hare nodded to Mr tortoise as he pawed the ground getting ready to run. Mr tortoise thought this action meant the hare was going to again jump in front of him again and keep playing his blocking game. Mr tortoise dropped his head to munch some grass as he was in for a wait or so he thought anyway. Mr hare saw the slow head movement in his heightened sate and took it the race was on and sped off at a good rate down the side of the field.
Mr tortoise was so relieved that the hare had decided to take his nonsense elsewhere and began to turn back to his original destination and his waiting meal. The hare sped off and was over the small rise in the middle of the field before you could blink. He was immediately pounced on by the farmers cat, he leaped and bounded to get away and the cat gave chase and they circled each other for a while just out of reach of one another as they were well matched in speed and agility. The cat and the hare after a bit of pounce and evade got to the point that they decided it was a waste of time to continue and the cat turned his attention to a thrush in the bush and gave the hare a look of disdain before he headed off to try his luck with the thrush instead.
Mr hare sped down to the bottom corner and was about to make his turn when one of his litter mates crashed into him being chased by the farmers dog. He was thrown of course and into the hedge just as the dog stopped and wondered which bunny to chase first. The sibling dashed into the hedge and the dog was left pacing and barking the line of the hedge to any little noise he heard. Mr hare and his sibling thought it prudent to stay in the hedge as the dog showed no sign of entering the bush. The problem was that an irate Mrs magpie was also hiding in the hedge. When out of nowhere another magpie, Mrs magpies mate Mr magpie descended into the fray and started dive bombing and harassing the barking and bounding hound. Mrs magpie took up the initiative and leaped into the aerial attack and they started drawing the dog away from the two hares. The two hares looked at one another and decided to take advantage of the intervention, and the sibling shot of into the other field, that gave Mr hare the open road again as the dog and magpies were disappearing over the small rise that Mr hare had crossed earlier.
Mr hare realised that he would have to run at top speed to get back in the race and so again hared off like a lightning bolt from the spot and was moving at such a rate he miscalculated the turn and crashed into the corner as he missed his footing trying to get back on course from his miscalculation. He managed to roll and get back to his feet and scrambled to turn back to his intended course and then sped down the fence line. Mr hare leaped up as he was closing in on the finish to try to get a glimpse of Mr tortoise, and could not see him, he considered he must still be mid field someplace. Mr hare was looking forward to getting to the river bank and then waiting and watching to see Mr tortoises face when he recognises his failure against the speedy hare and has to crawl up to the finish line at slightly more than a snail’s pace. But as Mr hare turned into the opening in the fence to start down to the river bank he was miffed to see Mr tortoise already there and munching quite happily on the lush foliage.
Mr hare stooped at the top of the rise and just stared with disbelief at the whims of fate, and was annoyed at his inability to tell how long a thing takes as he is usually the quickest at all things he does. Mr tortoise caught sight of Mr hare as he stood staring down at Mr tortoise and had to raise his head to see better above the docking leafs he was munching and at that point the hare thought it was time to leave before anyone sees that he was beaten by a tortoise. Mr tortoise on the other hand was just so please that the hare had decided to leave him to his meal. That he turned his attention back to his tasty delicacy.
Well there are few morals here for us to consider:
Don’t assume you know someone you don’t know.
Never challenge anyone you think you can easily beat, fate hates a cheat and will upset your actions to level the field.
And just when you think you have won you may have to count the cost again.
If you think you are having a hard time dodging the pussy, just wait till you get dogged in the bush by the birds.
Mr tortoise has a very different tail to tell as to how he crossed the field faster than a hare could run around it. But that’s a different story for another time.