Tortoise & rabbit / hare : The famous story behind ‘slow & steady wins the race’

Tortoise & rabbit / hare : The famous story behind ‘slow & steady wins the race’

Tortoise & rabbit / hare : The famous story behind ‘slow & steady wins the race’

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Tortoise & rabbit / hare : The famous story behind ‘slow & steady wins the race’

Dear readers, viewers, friends, students, all over the world ! You all might have read the famous story of the competition of race between a rabbit/hare and a tortoise, in your childhood. The slow moving tortoise finally wins over the fast moving rabbit. Below the story, this moral is given always : ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. You all are definitely familiar about all these.

I am referring this story in this blog with a new type of outlook and discussion relevant to modern practical life.

The story :

Once upon a time, there lived a tortoise and a rabbit ( or hare ) close by. As usual, hare is a fast moving animal and a tortoise is a very very slow moving animal. So, as usual, the hare had very much pride in his mind about his capability of race or fast motion. He often used to laugh at the tortoise for his slow motion and degrade him always. One day, the tortoise lost temper at the degradation by the rabbit and they had a bitter debate about their capabilities. Nobody admitted defeat and both were of the  opinion that one can defeat the other. They both agreed to have a race competition.

The race began. The rabbit reached miles away by his tremendous speed, while the tortoise was moving slowly with best of his capability as far as he can. When the rabbit saw that the tortoise was far behind him and would take hours to reach the deadline, he decided to take a rest for some time, without any worry. The rabbit was strongly confident that before the tortoise reaches the deadline, he would wake up and reach the deadline very fast. So, while taking rest, he soon fell asleep due to tiredness. But, unfortunately, the rabbit could not wake up early from this sleep. By this time, the tortoise was able to cross the deadline before the rabbit. When the rabbit woke up from his sleep, he saw that the tortoise was already on the other side of the deadline. The rabbit got defeated due to his ‘breaking sleep’ in the middle of the race. So, the slow moving tortoise became the winner.

The above is the story. At the end of the story, usually the moral is written as : “Slow and steady wins the race”.

An analysis of the story:

  1. Doesn’t the story look artificial ? To make the slow moving tortoise win, the writer of the story has made the rabbit to sleep forcibly in the middle of the race. Does it happen practically ? When two competitors start their test, nobody generally thinks of taking rest in the middle of the competition. An absurd idea. So, it is clear that the story is made-up.
  2. Has not ‘luck’ played a big role in the story ? Nowadays, many people do not believe in the word ‘luck’. They say that there is nothing like luck. If you try honestly & sincerely, you will definitely win and get positive result. But, as we see in the story, that both the rabbit and tortoise tried sincerely to win. But, luck favoured the tortoise, not the rabbit. Had not the rabbit sleep, could the tortoise win the race ? No, never. It is natural law, that sometimes something unexpected (beyond our control) happens that either favours us or obstructs. This is called by many names, like luck, chance, God’s grace, miracle, etc. Adolf Hitler, Alexander, and many others could not succeed in their missions upto their expectations even after sincerity and many other good qualities they posseed. So, this is luck. Between two competitors, only one will win, two can’t be winner simultaneously, then it will be mathematically wrong. This is called luck.
  3. Slow and steady wins the race. It is 100 % true. But, we have to think a bit deeply. Time and tide wait for none. Punctuality is given very much importance in every walk of life. So, how can a slow person win ? Won’t a slow person remain behind every other ? Won’t a slow person remain behind in his race of life ? And more importantly, in modern fast busy lifestyle, there is no place for a slow person. And if a person is steady, not motive, not dynamic, then how can he win ? To become successful in life, one has to be motive, dynamic, enthusiastic, not slow and steady.
  4. So, how is it true that slow and steady wins the race ? It is true. We have to think and adopt the exact deep meaning lying in the sentence, and not the superficial meaning. The exact deep meaning of this sentence is that, “you should not hurry, be calm and quiet”. Decisions taken in hurry always gives incorrect results. Slow and steady person, calm & quiet person takes decision and do work after analysing every possibilities and outcomes in cool mind, not in a hurry. That is why they become successful.
  5. Another aspect is that, slow and steady can’t win always. Sometimes, fast and dynamic wins. It depends on the situation and necessity. Sometimes you have to be slow and steady, calm and quiet, sometimes you have to be quick and motivated. When you are driving a car on a road, your speed can’t remain constant all the time, you have to increase or decrease the speed of your journey. When you are crossing a busy congested market area, or you have fallen in a traffic jam, you have to be slow and steady. And when you enter a wider free road, you have to be fast and dynamic, otherwise your journey will become boring and also you can’t reach your destination on time. So, both are correct.


Real Learning from the story:

  1. Stop not until you reach your goal.
  2. Always compete with someone of equal strength.
  3. Pride goeth before destruction.
  4. Don’t be overconfident (As here in the story, the rabbit was overconfident that he would definitely win).
  5. Always take decision reasonably, not in hurry (As here in the story, the rabbit took decision of taking rest in hurry without thinking that if he fall asleep and could not wake up timely, then what would happen).
  6. Never try to defeat who is weaker than you.
  7. Don’t laugh at and degrade who is weaker than you.
  8. Be sincere in your work and don’t show looseness in the middle.
  9. Always remain honest and believe in God, something unexpected may happen that is beyond your control.
  10. Neither slow & steady, nor fast & dyanamic wins. It is actually sincere, honest & reasonable wins.



So, Dear readers, viewers, students, friends ! How have you enjoyed the story, its analysis and learning  from it, that I have presented in a totally different way, for the first time ? Do comment to me. Share among your friends through social media.



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