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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.

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.  Coug told him as quickly as possible, to get it over with.

“First I laughed that a turtle would race against me. She was just running so slow Dad, SO slow!  Bixie was nowhere in sight, so, I thought I had time to rest.  So, then I climbed into the branches of a shade tree just for a few minutes.  I fell asleep and Bixie won.”

Coug stopped to catch his breath.

“It was really upsetting, Dad,” he went on.  “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.  Being a Dad takes a lot of patience.  A real lot.  Dad 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,” he said.  “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 two cougar boys.  It was about a very fast rabbit, called a hare.  How this hare 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 wish you had read me this story before today.  That’s exactly what happened to me.”

“Why didn’t you read me this story before?” he asked.  Blaming his father for what happened that day.

Dad replied, “I guess I didn’t think you would be all that interested in fables.  Now something else.  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,” Coug said. “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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