Hare and Tortoise, Revamped Story Lesson

Hare and Tortoise, Revamped Story Lesson April 18, 2024

Hare Style | Unsplash

The Occasion Story

One time I was privileged to be judging a competition in one of my city’s well-known schools, along with others. The chief guest of the day, a young writer and educationist, rephrased the an old Aesop tale in four different versions. The old and proverbial hare and the tortoise story was revamped with an input from each version.

The first version was the usual one we have all heard of, the tortoise winning the race. It gave rise to the famous adage Slow and steady wins the race. She encouraged her crowd of young and old listeners, students and parents as well as others, to learn the lesson of being consistent in your efforts, even when the odds seem to be against you.

The second version as told by her, was of  the hare challenging the tortoise to a repeat race. Having got the worse end of the bargain once, he sees to it that he wins this time in style.  Through this version of the story,  she urged her audience to possess the craving to win, even when you have seemingly failed.

Tortoise Track | Unsplash

The Retake of the Old

The third version of the story had now the tortoise demanding a third race in which he would set the course. The hare agrees and sets off in his usual fast pace until he reaches a hurdle. A stream blocks his way and he has no recourse but to see the tortoise go sailing past him to win again. Her conclusion was that it is important to make wise choices that play to your strengths.

A fourth version of the story had her describing  the hare and the tortoise arriving at a collaboration to both win the race. The hare agrees to carry the tortoise across the path where he is king. The tortoise likewise agrees to do the same for hare in his own area of strength.

It is a win-win situation where complementary action enhances and promotes relationship that competition did not enable. Her point was that, collaboration with others would bring greater reach and benefit than when you isolate yourself.

Age Old Story | Freepik

The Fresh Insight

The first thought I had when I saw a young speaker, was the contrast with yesteryears when a chief guest would normally and usually be a senior person. I almost felt resentment that the old are being neglected for the young. The seniors are more and more being sidelined, almost as if they are of no consequence.

Tech-savvy youngsters are quickly replacing people who have slogged faithfully for many years. They give the best years of their life to the company unstintingly and willingly, but go unrecognized. At an age and time when they should be those in positions of leadership, they are being overlooked for promotion. They are denied advancement for the sake of a trainee who is probably half or even one-third their age.

Seniors are placed in a very delicate position of being unable to protest the injustice of it all. They have to bear with much indignity since they are at a time when they need to fund their children’s higher education. Hence, a job is imperative, but honor and value is not!

Many of them just shut up and put up in order to survive in a highly competitive environment. They have commitments that cannot be laid down and too many miles to go on before they can rest.

River Stages | Photogrid

The Promising Compromise 

As I sat there listening to her talk and her innovative interpretation of a familiar tale, I had a moment of epiphany – collaboration is the key to promote goodwill and well-being, causing a win-win situation all around!

Young blood has the passion, the drive, and the power, besides effervescence, needed propel to new levels and heights. Golden-ager has the patience, experience, stability and stamina necessary to establish once the heights are reached.

Youth is like the upper reaches or the starting points of rivers, which leap and bound over obstacles, their headlong power rush helping to overcome impediments that would hinder the progress.

The old hands are like the third stage and estuary sections of a river. Its very slowness and meandering are factors that contribute to establishment of rich alluvial, so needed for promoting cultivation and agriculture. Interchanging of these capabilities and natural strengths would indeed have catastrophic effect and cataclysmic impact on the work done by a river.

Help Age Lesson | The New Enquiry

The History Lesson

The story is told of a sultan who one decided to move his capital to another location and decreed that the old and the ailing should be left behind as they would delay the progress and be a drag on their displacement. He wanted a smooth and quick transition and so insisted that they old be abandoned.

One filial son, however, could not bear to leave his aged widowed father behind and chose to carry him hidden in a basket on his shoulders as his personal goods. Halfway to their destination, the host of people ran out of water and could not find water. It was not just the people but also for the cattle that accompanied them.

The son spoke to his father who told him to advise the sultan to let loose the deer in their horde and a few swift riders to follow the deer. The sultan, though doubting the soundness of the advice, followed it as he had no other resort left. A few hours later, the riders following the deer rode into the camp with the joyous news of finding water.

The sultan praised the young man, who then confessed that the sound counsel had actually come from his aged father. He begged the sovereign to forgive his duplicity and his disobedience. The Sultan praised him for his love and care, and decided to transport all those left behind to join them in the new place.

Tribal Tales | Unsplash

The Generation Story

Generation gap is thought to be an urban myth and a perceived bane of advanced, modern and sophisticated societies. Primitive settlements and simple cultures do not seem to grapple with this situation in the principles of their existence. Their age-old time-tested practices such as initiation rites seem to help bestow individuality in the context of community. They promote general cohesiveness through the harmony and collaboration of the generations.

The golden oldies serve as the backbone of their social structure, while the sprightly youth become the pride and progress of the tribe. Such peaceful cooperation and co-existence works to the advantage of both, neither feeling upstaged or neglected. Their unspelled partnership ensures the overall success of the general population.

Sure there are rebels and upstarts who sometimes tend to upset the apple cart, but these are usually rare rather than the norm. They are soon put in place by the regimes and restrictions (such as banishment from the tribe) of the society they are part of.

Pauline Pattern | lifehopetruth.com

The Church Story

In the aftermath of crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, Apostle Paul, the early architect of churches, give a similar pattern of co-functioning.

In his letters to the early churches and its leaders, he sets model for partnership of the different age groups. He sets the standard of the older men and women by advising them to have a conduct worthy of respect. They would then be able to teach the younger ones sound deportment. Thus, there would be care of the next generation, and the elders would be able to maintain perfect order and harmony in the community.

Such a structure was important to ensure that no hindrance or impediment would deter the cause of Christ. Since the common goal of the community was the progress of the gospel, such an injunction was set in place and mandated by Paul. It would also guard the church from external influences of false teachers and erroneous doctrines.

He himself set an example of the pattern by selecting and training, as well as incorporating into his team, young men such as Timothy and Titus. They were his trusted co-workers, teammates, and those he sent instead of himself to places he couldn’t go.

Functional Story | Google Images

The Function and Functional Takeaway 

I came away from that function, not only with my hands full of goodies given in honor of my participation in the event. My mind was buzzing with fresh insight into the means of achieving a harmonious arrangement of the ages. It gave a glimpse of what would and could be a breathtaking symphony of collaboration.

I had a change of heart that birthed an acceptance of the role life and the living, as well as my God, have entrusted to me. I determined not to compete with but complement the younger generation.

Armed with insight, I sallied forth with a different story to teach, not just the moral of an aesop tale, but an old story revamped with new ideas, the old hare and tortoise tale repackaged!

* A good followup read: Symbiosis and Covid

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