The Hare, the Bullfrog, and the Long Race

Once upon a time, a bullfrog and a hare found themselves in a race. The bullfrog’s reasons for joining the race were rather nebulous, but it appeared to be mainly because he thought he could win. You see, the bullfrog was very popular down at the pond (although the flies and various small bugs were a bit nervous around him, so they tried to stay away from his deadly tongue). And there was that story about a hare that once lost to a tortoise, of all things. So the bullfrog jumped into the race.

The hare, on the other hand, chose to run because he was a hare and a hare should easily beat a bullfrog, and he had grown up determined to do exactly that! He just needed to play by the rules (he knew them well) and stay focused on the finish line.

The course was long and treacherous, 1,237 miles to be exact, and was fraught with twists and turns, bumps and potholes, hills and valleys. Added to that, some of the spectators were obnoxiously loud and rude as they cheered on the bullfrog. But the bullfrog appeared to enjoy the attention as he swelled up and croaked lustily, then proudly darted down the track.

The other spectators, who could hardly be heard over those of the bullfrog, cheered enthusiastically for the hare as he hopped along, and he knew he simply could not let them down.

Unexpectedly, when the bullfrog reached the 319 mile marker, the crowd went wild. They exclaimed how the bullfrog was winning, how he was the “frontrunner”—something they had called him before the race even began—and now how the race was already in the bag for him. The hare, as he raced along the track, could hear the accolades blaring back to him on the wind, and he was confused and just a mite frustrated. He could see the bullfrog in the very near distance, his chest puffed out, lounging by the 319 marker and croaking noisily. Why did the bullfrog’s supporters think he had won when the race was far from over?

Just then the hare arrived at the 226 mile marker amidst applause and praise from his fans. A few surprised bullfrog fans nearby begrudgingly acknowledged the hare’s progress, but then they quickly scurried back to the bullfrog to continue their praise of his victory.

The hare simply shook his head, took a deep breath, and vowed to finish the race. For he knew that this early in the race, before they had even reached the halfway point, and when there were only 93 miles separating them with around 1,000 to go, there was simply no way to determine the winner. The hare and his fans also knew that so much can happen in 1,000 miles.

So no matter what the predictions were, and no matter how much the bullfrog or his fans exclaimed, and no matter how rude or obnoxious the bullfrog and his spectators became, the hare would finish the race in victory. He would reach the finish line before the bullfrog at the 1,237 mile marker and he would win. Let the loudmouthed bullfrogs and his crowd croak and crow, but a win is a win. Even for a hare in a bullfrog world.

Moral: It’s not over until it’s over.

Janice Powell 2016

 

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