Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blogs and Bunnies

Thought Number One: Updating Aesop

Remember when you were little, all the stories that you read or  that were read to you that had a "moral" message.

Some of those might have been written by Aesop. Do any of you remember Aesop Fables?

Aesop was a slave and a story teller that lived in Greece between 620 and 560 BC.  He is credited with writing hundreds of stories for the purpose of teaching moral lessons.  Exactly how many stories he wrote is unclear but some sources cite 337.

Apollonius, a 1st century philosopher, said of Aesop:

"...like those that dine well off the plainest dishes, he made use of humble incidents to teach great truths, and after serving up a story he adds to it the advice to do a thing or not to do it.  Then, too, he was really more attached to the truth than the poets are; for the latter do violence to their own stories in order to make them probable; but he by announcing a story which everyone knows not to be true, told the truth by the very fact that he did not claim to be relating real events."

That little semi-colon infused bit of wisdom was taken out of Life of Apollonius of Tyara Book V:14 As fun as reading about Apollonius' life might be, I can only hope that means Verse 14 and not Volume 14.

While the story I am focusing on for today's post is the Tortoise and the Hare, you might remember others as well.  The Lion and the Mouse, City Mouse County Mouse, The Grasshopper and the Ant...pretty much name any two animals and there is a story on the list.  I am very curious how Aesop could work in all this writing while doing his day job...being a slave and all. 

Anyway...as I was saying... For over 2000 years we have been telling and retelling stories for the sole purpose of teaching values. 

BUT...for all the versions and creative change-ups, it is apparent that the message no longer applies as it was originally written.  

It would seem by today's standards that winning is everything and there are no "morals" built into the story.

Revisions to The Tortoise and the Hare

Right out of the box, we would have to change the name to Bunnies and Turtles. If the story is to be geared for young kids, they are sure to question the word Hare.  Can you blame them? No...I didn't think so.

Secondly, there isn't a prayer we would be writing about some bunny in the vein of telling it  not to take an early lead.  What is wrong with Bunny's coach?   If that rabbit is pooping out, he isn't training hard enough or drinking his 5 Hour Energy Drink, eating the right proportion of carbs to protein, ...and has he not been using his P90X.   Something is terribly wrong with Bunny if he can't keep up the pace to the finish line. Perhaps, there is a performance supplement (wink, wink) that Bunny could get from a "friend".

As for Turtle's coach... When is his contract due and what is it going to cost the organization to replace him?  The only reason a coach would tell a racer to take it slow is if  he has a bet on the outcome.... with his guy losing. Note to coach: You are not seriously telling your guy to take it slow in a race. Clearly you are insane. IT'S A RACE!  

Thought Number Two:  Too Much Bunny, Not Enough Turtle

As I look back and look at the progression of "the lengths people have taken to be #1, I would suggest that everyone on the planet should have a certain amount of Bunny.  There is something to be said for being assertive and determined.  Sure...if you are a racer...by all means...RACE.

BUT, let's not get over zealous and lose track of a pesky little thing like ethics.  Yes, winning is nice but be strategic and smart.  Steady-eddy sure and play by the rules.   Bring out your inner Turtle!

It could be said that I am a Bunny.

No, I don't have the required attributes to be that sort of  Bunny but I am the sort of Bunny that believes in "getting things done". If I were in a race with a Turtle, I would of shot out of the gate and I would have judged him harshly as being a slacker.

Ya Snooze Ya Lose!

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

He who hesitates is lost.

click to enlarge

Ultimately having too much Bunny and no Turtle leads to a really sad ending.

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meleahrebeccah said...

"I am very curious how Aesop could work in all this writing while doing his day job...being a slave and all. "

Um… That totally made me laugh so hard I choked on my coffee.

And then I died from laughter when I read this:

"Note to coach: You are not seriously telling your guy to take it slow in a race. Clearly you are insane. IT'S A RACE! "

Holy crap, you're funny today!

Wendy said...

Embedded in all this hilarity (and gosh Cheryl, you always make me laugh with your unique humour) is that always nagging question....When does the bunny have time for 'bunny making' if he is always racing,racing ,racing?

Chubby Chatterbox said...

You make an interesting social comment by using Lance Armstrong's (?) picture at the end. I hope this comment reaches you.

Cheryl P. said...

Yay!!!! You're back. I have missed your comments, Chubby. Yes, I wrote and rewrote several versions of this post. The ongoing parade of shamed athletes that have chosen to take the low road in order to win was on my mind and I couldn't come up with an approach that had any "lightness" to it. As it isn't a particularly fun subject, previous versions made me sound like a nasty cynic. (oh, I am a cynic for sure...I just don't want to be a nasty one)

Cheryl P. said...

HHMMMM...I suppose if "he and she" bunnies get done racing in a hurry..that would leave some time for recreational activities. BTW...baby bunny making goes very quickly as well I suspect.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you much, Meleah!! I am so glad you got a laugh out of this. I always value your opinion.

meleahrebeccah said...


Lia said...

On a serious note, I hated that children's books condensed the moral to "slow and steady wins the race." Aesop's fable is more of an explication of the hubris: arrogance - a trait shared by many tragic heroes of Ancient Greek theater. So it's not about taking your time and being steadfast (which actually works in many aspects of life), but avoiding the hare's hubris. Sorry for getting all literary.

On my actual, personal opinion note - LOL! I died when I saw the Playboy bunny drawing xD! Imagine if parents googled Aesop's fable to show their technologically savvy toddler the story, only to find your ... vivid illustrations! Ha!

And the modern spin you put on it sounds so tiger mom-ish. Are you familiar with that? haha thanks for giving me my laugh for today.


Cheryl P. said...

You are right of course. The arrogance of the Hare is the point. Wasted use of his ability for the sake of over-inflated ego. Very astute observation.

One of my great strengths is dumbing down any subject. Well...that's not true either...I wouldn't consider that a "great" strength.

I am so glad you found the humor of it. Actually, when I was looking for something to write about, I wanted to try to find a light way of poking at the proliferation of bad behavior prompted by the need to win. This was prompted by the Tweet of Lance looking at his winning jerseys that no longer are associated to wins. Sad ending to his legacy. I wrote a couple of versions before I actually pushed the publish button.

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,

It's a funny thing you mention the tortoise and the hare, we joke about this on the ICW as we travel south. We get up early and take off in our sail boat that moves much slower than some of the larger boats. They get up late in their big boats and they roar down the ICW going to the same destination as us and here we come an hour or so later and tie up at the same place. Sometimes, moving through life so fast we forget to take in all the beauty that surrounds us as we travel.


Trina said...

I can't help but to enjoy your photos each week. They seem to be getting betteer and better :) "The thighs that fries made" I'm gonna use this LOL

Clicks for you!

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Wolf, If there was ever a reason to not rush, it would be to take in the view while sailing. I imagine it's beautiful.
Have safe travels. I'll be looking forward to hearing about your trip.

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks Trina, My cartoons always look better on a sketch pad than on the computer as I have to scan them in and fine tune them. I am getting better at the process of getting them into the blog, I think. Thanks for the kind words...it remains a work in progress.

oldereyes said...

I've had a post simmering about how crazy parking lots are lately and your "more turtle - less bunny" is the perfect antidote. Unfortunately, the holiday season has exactly the opposite effect on people. Regarding your "sad ending," I think the problem was to much "bunny booster," not to much bunny.


Cheryl P. said...

That would make for a great post. You are right about there being a total absence of turtles around Christmas time. Yes, that debacle with Armstrong is yet another athlete losing sight of the line between being an great athlete and that of being a great person. Who said "cheaters never win"? They do until they get caught. I would love for it to be proven that he never doped but I think I am being naive.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Lance Armstrong - the ultimate troll. I love that picture.

I think his story says it all for modern times - he doped, he won like mad, then his titles got taken away and he didn't win. But who won instead? No one, and no one cares who was in second place. In 'Murka, second place doesn't exist, so the turtle doesn't even matter for this story. So for modern times, Aesop's story would be appropriately called 'The Hare and Some Other Scrubs That Raced Against The Hare."

Cheryl P. said...

Ha, I should of Photoshopped a little troll into the pic with a callout bubble saying "so who's the real troll in this picture?" I, of course didn't think of it at the time.

You are right about the end result of the Tour de France mess. Lance took the races, the glory, the celebrity and yeh, he lost the wins and the glory (still a celebrity of sorts) but the racers that should of gotten the glory will always be cheated out the perks that went with the win. Sucks to be 7 real winners of those races.

Bodaciousboomer said...

I do remember Aesops Fabels and Grimms Fairy Tales too. Of course I'm so old that I remember the original incidents they were based on...

Cheryl P. said...

You and I are the same age...right??? I don't remember the actual incidents but do remember the stories. Frankly the fact we aren't in therapy after hearing all the Grimm's tales as little children says something about how strong we are. The episode where Hansel and Gretel get locked up and are waiting around to be eaten for someone's supper should of scared us silly. Then to really top off our psychosis Gretel shoves the witch in the oven and burns her up. Don't cha just love happy endings?

Katherine Murray said...

Bunny got some help from a particular cyclist I am SURE... you know.. a little "wink wink" help! Your bunny picture had me laughing outloud... love the french fry legs... I would be so lucky to have legs like that!

Cheryl P. said...

Let's hope Bunny isn't stopped and asked to pee into a cup by some official. It's sad that while my cartoons look amazingly like me, I do remove excess thigh and the dark circles under my eyes. Just one of the perks of becoming a cartoon.

Linda R. said...

My french fry, potato chip, pizza legs do not look anything like those. ;) Some days I need more bunny myself.

Cheryl P. said...

Mine are needing some more workout time, lately.
I waiver between being too too much or not enough. I get too ambitious for awhile, wear myself out and do nothing for awhile. I really should work on balancing my life.