208: Context


Recently I saw someone refer to the story of the tortoise and hare to feel all superior about something they were struggling with.  I found it pretty ironic, because after reading many many old fairy tales I'm pretty sure the modern interpretation is entirely not how the story is supposed to be read. As far as I can tell it's supposed to be a comedy about how the hare has so much potential, but because he's lazy and overconfident, even the village idiot can beat him at a task. The moral of the story isn't that slow and steady wins the race, it's that you should not get complacent about your talent and live up to your potential. If you snooze, you lose. I think if you wanted to make it a story about the tortoise, it should have been about how the land turtle was clever and discovered a way to game the system, maybe tricking a cheetah into giving him a concealed ride on his back. Then it'd be a story of ingenuity over innate skill.