The Turtle & The Hare- The Awkward Partnership
A prequel story to the famous Aesop's Fable
The Turtle & The Hare- The Awkward Partnership
By: Adele Pena c2022
Now, I know most of you have heard Aesop's fable about the Turtle and the Hare in a race.
But there is more to that story. So, just stay right there in place.
Before the day that race occurred, testing both of their strategies in life, Hare and Turtle were actually close. They shared a brief partnership full of strife.
Yes, it's true.
They were in love, those two.
But it was a short trist of infatuation and incompatibility.
One slow and steady, the other inconsistent but fast with pace.
Do you remember the race?
Anyway, back to the story.
The turtle and the Hare met one sunny morning and decided to form a team.
"If we take this journey together, we will achieve more of our dreams," said Turtle. "We could be a great partnership. I can feel it in my shell."
"Sounds swell," said Hare. "I enjoy your calm company, and envision a good future for you and me."
So the two of them began walking and discussing future plans, creating endless possibilities, moving hand-in-hand.
But issues started rising quickly as they traversed down the wooded lane.
For, Hare moved faster than Turtle, and this caused Turtle leg pain.
And Hare talked so rapidly, without pausing for the much slower Turtle to respond, it wasn't long before Turtle felt like she was just getting dragged along.
Turtle tried to interject at one point to explain her plight, but Hare's excitement kept them moving forward in swift flight.
He didn't hear her. Or at least that's how it appeared.
This partnership Turtle requested was now something she couldn't handle, she feared.
Poor Turtle couldn't continue to bear her shell continually bouncing along the trail.
It made her feel rather frail in this pairing, and she knew she was much more daring, just at her own pace. With Hare just dragging her along she felt like a disgrace.
So she did the only thing she knew she could do, her only actual means of participation at his speed, she let go of his paw and allowed herself to tumble to a rest.
It was their first big relationship test.
And she just had to stop for a breather.
Besides, she thought, he really didn't need her. She was just extra weight.
Meanwhile, in Hare's enthusiasm, he didn't notice her let go.
And he didn't stop because he didn't know.
So he just kept zipping along, not realizing he left Turtle behind.
He thought she was right beside him as he continued to express his mind.
That is until he came upon a river.
Turning to tell turtle, "Well, it looks like we're going to need your expertise for this one," it was only then that he realized she wasn't by his side.
Fear set in, and for a moment he cried. Hare had no idea where or when the two became parted.
And he was concerned, bewildered, and a bit flustered about having to put all of their glorious plans on hold.
Turtle was wasting time dawdling, he thought, and this left him feeling rather cold.
All Hare could do now is turn around and retrace his steps, leaving progress towards the future to the wayside to go find Turtle.
Turtle was still where she landed, and just about ready to move forward again. She had hopes of finding Hare up the trail, but reality was setting in.
"Maybe this partnership wasn't such a good idea after all. Maybe I wasn't ready," said Turtle. "I do my best work by moving slow and steady. Hare lives his life like it's a race. At the rate he's going, he will burn out at that pace. … I guarantee it."
It didn't take long until Hare spotted Turtle crawling towards him. So he stopped and waited for her to catch up, but she was taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r.
"You're never going to finish anything moving at that rate," shouted Hare from up the trail. "What's with the slow crawl? Is this a permanent trait?"
We all know, those were the wrong words for Hare to use with the thoughts on Turtle's mind.
Turtle was already beginning to see Hare as somewhat unkind.
But she had already caught up to him. So, they began walking the trail together hand-in-hand again. And she had a brief opportunity to speak (since she had caught her breath) knowing where to begin.
"Where's your patience Speed Racer? You didn't bother to match pace. From the way you're behaving, one would think this journey was a race. I've been dragged along this trail too long, since nearly the beginning. I asked you to slow down a bit, but you just kept talking and grinning,” said Turtle. "I couldn't hold on any longer. And you didn't even notice me let go as you dominated pace and chatter. Is there a time you had planned for your partner's thoughts to matter?"
This upset Hare greatly. He was a creature used to speed and vigor.
It's what kept him alive.
So, what she said was also a trigger, like poking a beehive.
"I'm a great listener," protested Hare. "Don't tell me I don't care. You should have spoken more adamantly."
They were in deep disagreement now, neither moving closer to resolution.
That is until Turtle said, "I think I have a solution."
"Well, what is it?" Questioned Hare.
But they had now reached the river and Turtle knew it was not the time to express her idea. First, they needed to cross, and without her help, Hare would be at loss.
"Let's get across this river first. Then I'll share my plan," she said swiftly. "Right now I need you to climb on my back and hold on. I will swim us across before today's sun is gone."
Hare didn't like this plan and he did not want to get on Turtle's back. But he knew he couldn't cross the river without her, and this would put the journey back on track. So he climbed aboard.
Turtle carried Hare across the river to the shore on the other side. Hare got wet as this happened and hated the ride.
"I'll never cross a river again. This is a one-time event," grumbled Hare. "Traversing land is enough for me. That's where I want my days spent."
Turtle just kept paddling to the shore on the other side, remaining silent with yet another disagreement, letting their differences here slide. She loved the water. It was her preferred abode really.
Once both were back on shore, and some drying off took place, that's when Turtle decided to start talking about the race.
"I know you'll find this silly, and the outcome easily foreseen, but hear me out without getting sarcastic or mean. What if we have a race from here to the village ahead?" a bold move, but that is what Turtle said. "We can discuss more of our future travels together after we get that far with some time to think on our own. We have found some differences to consider. It might be good to have a bit of time alone... I am glad you came back for me though."
Now, Hare did find Turtle's request rather foolish, but set the race anyway. He figured it was a sure bet and an interesting day.
It was also a good way to prove his point to Turtle about her rate.
So, he said, "Great! Let's do it. I'll see you when you reach the town. All you need to do is say go and I won't stick around."
And you know the rest of the story.