Hedging your bets on race results – a hare-raising story

hedgehog&rabbitChildren’s books, and parables are a great way to teach our young the tenets that will help build and prepare them for the rigours of adulthood. Regardless of whether you do this by reading to them from modern stories, or demonstrate it through reading “classic” tales probably does not matter, so long as they learn and enjoy. The added bonus is that children respond positively to illustrations in books. I know I certainly did. Here is an example of such visual pleasure.

“The Hedgehog and the Rabbit” by Ivan Franko. This tale is translated from the original Ukrainian story by Mary Skrypnyk. It is illustrated by Valentin Hordiychuk and published by Dnipro Publishers, Kiev: 1982.

In a nutshell the storyline is: A hedgehog and a rabbit embark on a running race where the rabbit thinks that he will ‘cream it in’ every time he challenges the hedgehog and win every race. But after 73 point-return races, the rabbit cannot believe that the hedgehog has beaten him every time to the finishing line. Each time the rabbit darted over the finishing line he heard and saw the hedgehog decree “I’m already here.”  On the 74th attempt, the rabbit was totally bushed and collapsed in the middle of the run and died from exhaustion.

What the rabbit didn’t know was that the hedgehog and his wife were at both ends of the running course and took it in turns to appear at the finishing line and shout out “I’m already here,” indicating they had beaten the rabbit to the line. So the moral to the story is – never try to make a fool of anyone weaker than yourself.

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