Monday, May 7, 2012


Aesop spun a fine fable when he told the tale of "The Tortoise and the Hare." You remember the story, don’t you?

(Just in case you don’t, here’s a brief review of the MarySue version: A rabbit (hare) once challenged a turtle (tortoise) to a race. He was sure he would easily win because of his superior speed. To his surprise, the turtle accepted his challenge.

Race day came and off they went. In no time, braggart bunny disappeared over the first hill before treadslow turtle had even begun the climb.

"This will be a romp for me," the rabbit thought. "I’ll just take a break and rest a bit." He sat down in a sweet smelling patch of clover, propped up his feet on a near-by log, closed his eyes and basked in the warm sunshine.

The turtle did not fret and he did not hurry. He just steadily plodded along the course. After a long time, he passed the clover patch where rabbit was resting. Actually he had fallen asleep so he did not see Mr. Turtle amble steadily past his resting place and on down the race course.
By-‘n-by, the rabbit awoke, stretched himself, and wondered how long he had been resting. "Ah, but it felt so good," he thought to himself as he trotted on down the race course.

"I wonder where that tardy turtle is by this time," he thought as he approached the finish line. He imagined that he heard some cheering up ahead. He glanced at the goal just as the turtle lumbered across it ahead of him.  The moral of this story you can figure out for yourself, I’m sure.)

The truth of this tiny tale was demonstrated for us in traffic on Interstate 35 a few days ago. Make no mistake about it, we are turtles when we travel and tow our house. We settle into a safe and comfortable speed – usually between 55 and 60 mph – and let the rabbits of the traffic world go by.

So, on that particular day as we were dawdling along, we were passed by (not one; not two) three huge semis, each carrying one blade of a wind turbine. Each truck was accompanied by two vehicles – one in front and one behind – bearing warning signs: "Caution! Wide Load!" This parade of nine vehicles swept past us like the proverbial hare, restrained only by the 75 mph speed limit. "Wow!" we said to each other as they flashed by.

Within ten miles, however, we passed them as all nine vehicles were stopped together on the shoulder of the highway. Was there a mechanical problem? Driver fatigue? Required safety check? Potty stop for one and all?   Penance for an addiction to speed?

We’ll never know, but this "rabbit- and turtle-type" race with them occurred twice more before we parted ways. We wondered who reached their destination first: we 55 mph tortoises or those 75 mph stop and go hares?