Thursday, January 2, 2020

Microstory 1269: The Tortoise and the Rabbit

A rabbit was bragging to a tortoise about how much faster he could run. He kept goading the tortoise, and challenging him to a race. The tortoise was wise, and he understood his own limits, so he kept refusing. But the rabbit did not let go of this. He had already beaten all of the other animals in the forest in races, and the tortoise was the only one left. He knew he could beat him too, but he desperately wanted to prove it, so there could be no question. He also wanted to see the look on the tortoise’s face after he ran all the way to the finish line, and then ran back to mock him further. Finally, the tortoise agreed to the race, and of course, he lost. He barely made five steps before the rabbit came running back to laugh at him. Some of the animals laughed at him too for trying, even though they too had lost to the rabbit. The tortoise merely walked off, and carried about his life, not even bothering to reach the finish line. Meanwhile, the rabbit tried to move on as well, but he couldn’t. He was still stuck in the glory days. Now that he had become fastest in the forest, there was no more to accomplish, and it hadn’t really gotten him anywhere. The tortoise ended up living forty times longer than the rabbit, but even so, his life also ended in death. All the other animals who had tried to race the rabbit died as well. No one remembered them, nor cared who was the most skillful. Over the years, more rabbits raced more tortoises, and it always ended the same.

This story was inspired by, and revised from, an Aesop Fable called The Hare and the Tortoise.

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