Originally created 10/18/01

Story time gets simply too complex these days

Come gather 'round me, children, and let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, long, long ago, a hare was boasting about his speed and athletic ability.

"Which hair? The one on your head? Or the one in your nose?"

Not that kind of hair, my child. A hare. It's a big rabbit.

"Like Bugs Bunny?"

Well, sure, sort of.

"Then why don't you call him Bugs?"

No, that name's already taken. This story is from a man named Aesop, and it's called The Hare and the Tortoise, not The Bunny and the Tortoise.

"What's a tortoise?"

It's a turtle that lives on land. Now, may I continue? So one day the hare and the tortoise get into an argument over who would win a footrace between them.

"I never saw a bunny and a turtle talking with each other."

For the sake of this story, they could understand each other, OK?

"Were they talking in turtle, or in rabbit?"

Back then, all the animals spoke one language.

"Were all the species forced to speak English by the oppressive government?"

What? No. I mean, where do you hear such talk? Anyway, back to the story. The hare boasted that no one had ever beaten him in a race.

"What was his best time?"

Forget his time. It wasn't a track meet. And it wasn't the Olympics. It was just a race through the woods.

"What kind of running shoes were they wearing?"

They didn't have any shoes. And before you ask, they didn't have sponsors. They didn't get on the box of Wheaties. These were animals, and this is just a fable.

"What's a fable?"

It's a story with a moral.

"What's immoral?"

No, no, not immoral. A moral. It's a - just listen, all right? So, they decided to run a race. The hare started off quickly but soon was far ahead. So he lay down beside the road to take a nap.

"During a race? Did he have a chemical imbalance?"

No, no, he just ...

"He wasn't on drugs, was he? He sounds like a victim of addiction. Or maybe he had attention deficit disorder."

Drugs? Disorder? No. Listen, he just fell asleep. The tortoise kept crawling along and won the race.

"Didn't that hurt the hare's self-esteem? I'll bet his parents were mad at the system. Did they sue?"

What? No, this was long ago. And this was the woods, and a bunch of stupid animals. Do you know what the lesson is that we need to learn from this?

"That there are no losers because everyone who enters the race is already a winner?"

What? No, of course not. Where do you kids get that kind of thinking? The hare lost, so he was a loser. The moral is: Slow but steady wins the race.

"Slow never wins the race in NASCAR."

And that, dear reader, is why I don't tell stories anymore.

Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or gmoore@augustachronicle.com.


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