The Leopard And The Tortoise.

leopard and tortoise

The leopard had been looking for the tortoise and hadn’t found him for a long time. On this day, on a lonely road, he suddenly chanced upon Tortoise, and so he said, “Aha! At last, I’ve caught you. Now get ready to die.”

Tortoise of course knew that the game was up and so he said, “Okay, but can I ask you a favor?” and Leopard said, “Well, why not?” Tortoise said, “Before you kill me, could you give me a few moments just to reflect on things?” Leopard thought about it – he wasn’t very bright – and he said, “Well, I don’t see anything wrong with that. You can have a little time.”

And so Tortoise, instead of standing still and thinking, began to do something very strange: he began to scratch the soil all around him and throw sand around in all directions.

Leopard was mystified by this. He said, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” Tortoise said: “I’m doing this because when I’m dead, I want anybody who passes by this place to stop and say, ‘Two people struggled here. A man met his match here.

~ African Fable.

10 thoughts on “The Leopard And The Tortoise.”

  1. I don’t get it, Ramana. Something that happens not a lot but when it does I find it disconcerting.

    The tortoise being lucky the leopard not being THAT hungry (instant gratification). Aesop needs to rewrite this fable. In his absence I will. With dust in my eyes.

    Also: It’s a bit much to ask someone, even a tortoise, to “get ready to die”. The very thought might make them piss in their pants/shell/sand in anticipation. A thoughtful killer would provide a pot before proceeding.

    Ursula recently posted..Crown Court

    1. You know well what an impact Viktor Frankl has had in my personal development. I have written a great deal about him in my earlier posts. This is a classic case of Tragic Optimism.

      Now to lighten up the discussion: A cockroach about to be swatted to death by a man tells him, “Go ahead you wimp, you are just jealous of me because your wife is afraid of me and not you.”

  2. “No one can escape the pain and suffering in life but that does not make life meaningless. We all have to face unavoidable suffering from time to time and yet meaning can be created from this. It is created when the suffering inspires us to attempt to alleviate the suffering in the lives of others. In these very acts we suddenly find our lives are rich in meaning and we can once again look to life through the eyes of optimism even when it is surrounded by tragedy.”

    I get what they are saying – just not sure I agree with it.

      1. Let’s face it — suicide bombers give their lives great meaning. The meaning doesn’t always have to be alleviating the suffering of others. It could be serving one’s idea of God.

        I was a great believer in the importance of having a purpose in life until I read a biography of Queen (Bloody) Mary. Her beliefs saw her through, but they were a disaster for a lot of English people.
        Cheerful Monk recently posted..Cherry and Poppy

  3. This is a hoot, Rummy. The leopard “outfoxed” by the tortoise.

    We have two gophers who live on the front property. We have named them Runner and Baby Girl.

    It is a joy to sit on the porch and watch them dig and throw dirt as they burrow deeper into their home.

    Those two are surely wiser than we will ever be.
    blessings ~ maxi
    Maxi recently posted..Please Don’t Go

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