The Tortoise and The Hare
Aesop, a Greek slave living in the mid-6th Century, wrote 725 fables, or morality
tales. One of his most famous fables is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare.”
Once, long ago, the beasts in the forest disagreed about which animal was the
swiftest. Some thought Hare, because he had long ears. Others thought Tortoise,
because with such a hard shell, she should be a hard runner.
Their arguing continued for days so finally Tortoise and Hare agreed to run a race
of five hundred yards. Hare, who believed he was God’s gift to the world, thought
the whole event ridiculous, but his supporters forced him to run. Tortoise, who
was humble, was thrilled to be asked!
With his tail, Monkey drew a line in the dirt. Tortoise and Hare stood right behind
the line. Elephant was chosen to begin the race, so he trumpeted very loudly with
his trunk. Off they went, the Tortoise and the Hare!
Hare ran so quickly that whenever he looked back, he couldn’t even see Tortoise
because she was so far behind. Meanwhile, Tortoise’s loyal friends kept pushing
her forward, “Run hard!” they yelled. But Hare was so far in front of her she
couldn’t see him.
Hare was an arrogant fellow and quite certain he would win the race. He thought
“Why should I make such a big effort to run fast when that female will never catch
up with me. So, when Hare was close to the finish line and still couldn’t see
Tortoise, he lay down and fell asleep.
Meanwhile, slow and steady, Tortoise moved forward, propelled by the shouts of
her friends. She noticed the sleeping hare, and quietly passed him by. A smile
formed on Tortoise’s lips.
Tortoise won the race and even now, people say, “Slow and steady wins the day!”