The Tortoise and the Hare

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Crane, however, flies overnight and is overtaken by Hummingbird later and later during the day, at length coming in first. The ultimate prize differs between versions and includes choice of habitat, the love of a girl, or the right to cut the other down to size. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Aesop's fable. For other uses, see The Tortoise and the Hare disambiguation.

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  • The Tortoise Mindset: How Slow & Steady Wins the Race of Life – Patrik Edblad.
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The Tortoise and the Hare. Retrieved 23 June IV, p. Flickr - Photo Sharing! Retrieved Princeton University Press. Archived from the original on De lepore et testudine , illustrated by Francis Barlow". By whom? Not you, surely!

The Tortoise and the Hare - Wikipedia

Annoyed by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge. A course was planned, and the next day at dawn they stood at the starting line. The hare yawned sleepily as the meek tortoise trudged slowly off. When the hare saw how painfully slow his rival was, he decided, half asleep on his feet, to have a quick nap.

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The hare woke with a start from a fitful sleep and gazed round, looking for the tortoise. But the creature was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course. Breathing a sigh of relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too, and off he went to munch some cabbages he had noticed in a nearby field. But the heavy meal and the hot sun made his eyelids droop. With a careless glance at the tortoise, now halfway along the course, he decided to have another snooze before flashing past the winning post.


The sun started to sink, below the horizon, and the tortoise, who had been plodding towards the winning post since morning, was scarcely a yard from the finish. At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt.

He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. An old Greek source comments that 'many people have good natural abilities which are ruined by idleness; on the other hand, sobriety, zeal and perseverance can prevail over indolence'.

The tortoise and the hare

In the 19th century and after the fable was given satirical interpretations. In the social commentary of Charles H. Bennett 's The Fables of Aesop translated into Human Nature , the hare is changed to a thoughtful craftsman prostrate under the foot of a capitalist entrepreneur.

Silly Symphony - The Tortoise and the Hare

There the hare realises the stupidity of the challenge and refuses to proceed any further. The obstinate tortoise continues to the finishing line and is proclaimed the swiftest by his backers.

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But, continues Dunsany,. In Classical times the story was annexed to a philosophical problem by Zeno of Elea in one of many demonstrations that movement is impossible to define satisfactorily. The second of Zeno's paradoxes is that of Achilles and the Tortoise, in which the hero gives the Tortoise a head start in a race. The argument attempts to show that even though Achilles runs faster than the Tortoise, he will never catch up with her because, when Achilles reaches the point at which the Tortoise started, the Tortoise has advanced some distance beyond; when Achilles arrives at the point where the Tortoise was when Achilles arrived at the point where the Tortoise started, the Tortoise has again moved forward.

Hence Achilles can never catch the Tortoise, no matter how fast he runs, since the Tortoise will always be moving ahead.

The Hare and The Tortoise

The only satisfactory refutation has been mathematical and since then the name of the fable has been applied to the function described in Zeno's paradox. In mathematics and computer science, the tortoise and the hare algorithm is an alternative name for Floyd's cycle-finding algorithm. There is a Greek version of the fable but no early Latin version. For this reason it did not begin to appear in printed editions of Aesop's fables until the 16th century, one of the earliest being Bernard Salomon's Les Fables d'Esope Phrygien, mises en Ryme Francoise Among the many illustrations of the fable, that by the French caricaturist Jean Grandville is novel in portraying the tortoise as running upright.

Auguste Delierre makes the judge a monkey in the edition of La Fontaine's fables that he illustrated. Outside of book production, there is an early 17th-century oil painting of the fable by the Flemish landscape artist Jan Wildens.