The Tortoise and the Turtle
t happened once a time that a turtle, accustomed tho' he was to the greeny sea, hied himself onto the land to see what he could see. As he lay flat-bellied on the sand, the turtle espied a tortoise, who was passing by for several minutes. Hail, my fellow slow-footed friend, said the turtle, stop for a chatting. The tortoise turned his mighty head and called back. Slow-footed? said he, thou dast not address such foul lies towards my head and escape a thorough thrashing. Peace, dear shell'd brother, said the jolly turtle, art thou not, like as to myself, encas'd in shell and sluggish of foot? No, a sluggard as yourself and a fleet-footed master of speed such as I have not a whit in common, said the tortoise. This anger'd the turtle greatly, and he flapped his great arms. Rude beast, I should rack your shell 'pon my knee for such harsh words, said he. The tortoise, who had by this point moved near two cubits for'ard, turned and laughed at his sea brother. If thy body but moved as speedy as thy lips, you fain could come close to reaching my speed, said the tortoise. Prideful varlot, I challenge you to a race, said the turtle, the winner of which shall be named the fastest in Christendom, so help the LORD.
Word of the great challenge travel'd swiftly thru the land.
It should be a sea race, for as the seas eat away the rocky cliffs, so we see that water is the masterful medium, said the turtle. No, a land race it should be, answered the tortoise, for land is the home of the masters of earth, the lizards. The onlooking animals added their calls to the cry. At last, a single voice broke above the din the voice of the jaguar. The great catte stood 'tween the combatants, a hungry look 'pon his face and the gleam of the sun 'pon his spotless yellow coat. There is no need to argue, friends, for your faithful jaguar has the solution, said he.
The catte's plan was such: A three-day race 'pon land, in the sea, and thru the very aether. 'Pon the first day, the tortoise and turtle would race on land, the length of 10 and 10 ostritche feathers laid end-on-end. The second day would bring a second race of the same length, but twould be held in the sea. This, he judged, gave each combatant an equal chance. At the last and third day, the turtle and tortoise would, at the same time, leap from the cliff to see which was the fastest in the bare air.
And to ensure it is fair, we shall call upon the eagle, wise, wizened, and white-hair'd, to judge, said the jaguar. The eagle bow'd, and some would later say he and the jaguar exch'ng'd unseemly glances, tho' no mention of it occur'd at the time. The foolish turtle and tortoise agreed, and all the animals raised a cheer.
The first day, the turtle and tortoise stood eye-at-eye 'fore the mouth of the desert. The jaguar was there, primping his shiny yellow coat and answering questions from some of the pamphleteers gather'd for the race. The balded ostritche return'd to the line, marking the instant when the course was readied. Yon wise old eagle spread his wings, and the race began.
At the first, the turtle, a creature of the deep, captured the leading position, a fact that surpris'd one and all. For his part, the tortoise was but standing silently, watching his shell'd foe drag himself forwards 'pon mighty flippers. Seeing this, the tortoise laughed and said p'raps my rival is in need of water to perform. Then he began a mighty passing of water o'er the turtle's possessions. His body free of foul liquid, he turned to see the turtle passing the half-of-a-way mark. The tortoise then moved forwards with top speed, and soon erased the four handsbreadth's lead once owned by the turtle. An hour ahead of nightfall, the tortoise crossed the finish line nearly a King's finger before the turtle.
The sun set and the animals slept. The first day endeth.
The second day, the turtle and tortoise stood eye-at-eye 'fore the shore of the sea. The jaguar was there anon, primping his shiny yellow coat and answering questions from some of the pamphleteers gather'd for the race. A second balded, wetted ostritche return'd to the line, marking the instant when the course was readied. Yon wise old eagle spread his wings, and the race began.
As before, the turtle , a creature of the deep, captured the leading position, a fact that surpris'd but the more ignorant 'mong the assembled animals. For his part, the tortoise was but standing silently, watching his shell'd foe pull himself thru the brine 'pon mighty flippers. At the last, unable to muster e'en a fraction of the water he drew the day 'fore, the grimaced tortoise turned to the sea and plundged his mighty head into the sea. The tortoise took a mouthful, turned, and let the water spray. And then, mouth went into the water for more.
Pray friend, what art thou planning? asked the enfuddl'd jaguar. Years ago, I passed hence and eyed a man of Chinee who swallowed the sea, said the tortoise, and I intend to do such here. A fine plan it was, but by the moment the turtle reach'd the end of his lap, the tortoise had naught but dried-out gums and a small pool behind.
The sun set and the animals slept. The second day endeth.
The third day, the turtle and tortoise stood eye-at-eye 'fore the lip of a mighty precipice. The jaguar was there a third, primping his shiny yellow coat and again answering questions from some of the pamphleteers gather'd for the race. A third balded, terribly wounded ostritche clam'd up the lip of the clip and to the line, marking the instant when the course was readied. Yon wise old eagle spread his wings, and the race began.
At that, both shell'd racers lept, soared, fell, and smash'd. Dishearten'd by the sight of the terrible crash, all animals departed save the jaguar and eagle, who pull'd forth silverware and began to dine.
Sated after their lordly meal, the jaguar and eagle felt the pull of sleep. The eagle flew to home, while the jaguar lay'd down 'mong the carcasses to sleep. When he awoke the next day, his sorrowing eyes found that the shell leavings had stained his pure yellow fur, forever marking him as the killer of the turtle and the tortoise. And that, dear children, is how the jaguar got his spots.
Only a asse relies upon a jaguar to plan a sporting event. Such animals are better suited for marketing or perhaps craft services. A hyena or perhaps a gazelle is the wise man's choice for event planning. ALSO, an eagle is not to be trusted, no matter how white his head. Though to the eagle's credit, he is cleaner than the slovenly jaguar. But only a desperate man chooses an eagle for a pet in hopes of pleasing the LORD.