Have you heard the story? Once there were two friends – a hare and a tortoise. The hare was known for his swiftness and the tortoise was known for his sluggishness. The tortoise was extremely slow.
One day, as they chatted, the hare began making fun of the tortoise for his slowness.
The tortoise was slightly annoyed but said with a smile, “I may be slow, but I can beat you in a race.”
The hare was astonished to hear this. He thought the tortoise was utterly foolish and totally unaware of what he could not do, even in his wildest dreams.
“Are you kidding?”, said the hare in bewilderment. “I hope you are not serious.”
“I am vey serious. I am sure I can outrun you,” said the tortoise. Seeing the tortoise so serious, the hare said, “All right, in that case, we shall appoint a referee and fix a venue for the event.”
On that note they parted, to meet again on the appointed date
A rat was appointed as referee. A large field beside the river was selected for the unusual race and a big banyan tree, about a mile away from the rat’s hole, was decided on to be the winning post.
The rat stood ready to blow the whistle and start the race. The tortoise and the hare tensed at the start line.
“On your mark, get set, Go”, called the rat, and the race began.
The hare took off at lightning speed, and soon ran out of sight towards the finish line. Meanwhile the tortoise began the race at a very slow pace. The sight was almost funny if not pitiful.
“Poor tortoise,” thought the rat, “The hare will win the race hands down, and cover the length of the field ten times before the tortoise can cover it even once. No match at all!”
The hare must have reached about half a mile when he stopped to see where the tortoise was. He looked back. The tortoise was not to be seen. “Oh he is far behind, I can’t even see him yet. I think I will wait here until I can see him and then I’ll run the remaining distance. Hey, why don’t I eat some grass and rest in the meanwhile.” said the hare to himself.
The hare snacked and drank some water, and lay down in the shade of a tree to wait and watch. Soon the cool air from the riverside lulled him into deep sleep. The tortoise on the other hand, kept moving slowly but steadily
The hare slept for a long time. When he woke up, he looked around and the tortoise was not to be seen any where. He felt rested and so decided to complete the race. As he approached the finish line, he grew more and more astonished. The tortoise had already reached the finish line.
The hare had lost the race. He accepted the defeat graciously. After that he never poked fun at the tortoise or his slowness.