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Run Your Own Race

Coug's Dad sits between Cooper and Coug's beds and reads from a story book that shows a turtle and a rabbit illustration.

Later that night, when Coug and Cooper were tucked into their beds, their Dad came in to read them their story. Coug wanted to tell his father about what had happened that day with the marathon. So, he told him as quickly as possible.

He blurted out in a rush, “First I laughed that a turtle would race against me. Then when the race started, I thought I had time to rest. She was just running so slow, SO slow Dad! So, then I climbed into the branches of a shade tree for a few minutes. I fell asleep and Bixie won. It was really upsetting, Dad. Then I was mad and blamed my sneakers for losing the race. The last thing I did was call Bixie a cheater. Dad, please don’t be mad at me.”

Coug’s Dad just shook his head. Then he walked over to the bookcase and found a thick book of short stories.

“Son, there’s a story I want to read to you, written a long, long time ago by a very smart man called Aesop. The book he wrote is called “Aesop’s Fables”. And this story is called “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

Cooper and Coug in bed with the Aesop's Fables book cover and titles of various fables around it. Titles 'The Fox and the Grapes', 'The Tortoise and the Hare', 'The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg' and 'The Ant and the Grasshopper'.

Dad read the entire story to his sons. It was about a very fast rabbit, called a hare, who got into a race with a tortoise, which is a type of turtle. In the end, the tortoise won.

Coug couldn’t believe it. “Dad,” he said, “I really wish you had read me this story before today. That’s exactly what happened to me.”

Coug hit the mattress with his fist. “Why didn’t you read me this story before?” he asked, blaming his father 100% for what happened that day.

Dad replied, “I guess I didn’t think you would be all that interested in fables. Remember this – every fable has a moral, a lesson. The moral of this story is ‘Slow and Steady Wins the Race’.”

Coug thought about that. “But Dad, that doesn’t make sense. Because if I had run as fast as I could have, the way I should have, then fast and steady would have won the race. Right?”

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