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[Tidbits] The Contest


The Contest

It was some time after the original race and Hare and The Tortoise
had gone into their own professions. The Hare became a Jeweler and
the Tortoise became a watch-maker. While intellectually the Tortoise
had it all over the Hare … financially speaking the Hare was in
rabbit heaven. Of course … all this wealth made the Hare a bit
unbearable as he strutted around town wearing outrageous items of
diamonds and precious jewels in order to show the world that his
worth to the world was directly related to the money he had in the
bank. There were many sycophants who agreed. Many admired the Hare
for a new Jacket he had created for himself … made of diamonds …
all D color … all internally flawless. The Tortoise made himself a
working watch … put a few diamonds in it to dress is up a bit …
nothing ostentatious … in fact very tasteful.

Older folks who remembered the great race of past times often tried
to goad the two into another race. Doesn’t have to be a running race
they said. It can be another type of contest. There was a great
sundial in the center of town … and though the Tortoise was
perfecting his craft in watchmaking … most considered it a
frivolous activity and mocked the idea of a watch telling time as
accurately as a sundial. Preposterous, they scoffed. Dumb, they
said. Stupid, they added. They were clearly limited in their
language skills … very few even knew the meaning of “epithet”.

Let us have a contest where the Hare and the Tortoise sit in a field
away from town and try to tell time while unable to view the
sundial. We will relay their answers to the elders in town and the
one most accurate in his time-telling skills will be declared the
winner. Both Hare and Tortoise agreed. And the day was selected …
and both contestants arrived at the field at the appointed time. The
Hare was wearing his diamond jacket … the Tortoise was in a plain
gabardine raincoat. The Tortoise was a big fan of Columbo. After
much fanfare … the contest began.

What time is it now … a judge would ask. The Hare would look up at
the sun and say something like … it is one thirty p.m. When it was
his turn … the Tortoise would glance over his shoulder and down
his back-- the judges thought he had fleas and were a bit disturbed
that he couldn’t be bothered to even bathe before the contest. When
the Tortoise would finish his bodily inspections … he would glance
at the sky in a careless fashion and say: It is one thirty seven and
fifteen seconds … Greenwich Mean Time. The judges were amazed that
this unkempt slovenly creature could be so accurate each and every
time. At the end of the day … as the sun was setting … the Hare
would be further and further off the mark while the Tortoise- -not
withstanding his annoying habit of looking down his back–was one
hundred percent accurate … even without benefit of sun. Of course
… he won the contest … to the dismay of those who sucked up to
the Hare because of his wealth.

How the Tortoise accomplished this feat was soon discovered … and
though he should have been lauded for his accomplishments … the
old adage that money talks while turtles walk stood true. The Hare
… despite his impoverished intellect … remained a town icon …
strutting about the village in his diamond coat … while the
Tortoise simply went about his business of perfecting his craft
while being mocked derisively and to his face about his slovenly
appearance by town elders.

In later times a jeweler created a piece–perhaps to commemorate the
contest --perhaps not … and though the piece tried to be true to
the events … the Hare still took a prominent place one echelon
above the Tortoise. Which proves the old saw: No one cares what’s in
your head or in your heart. It’s what’s in your pocket that counts.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: Contest
… where you will see a graphic of a jeweler’s representation of
that day of long ago … and where you will discover how it was that
the turtle was able to tell time … even without the sun.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week. Benjamin Mark

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