Always eager for something new, the hare greedily indulges in the sights and sounds of the open road until he stops to investigate something interesting on the verge and . . . . He is a shameless generalist. Though it is not a particularly productive habit to become so easily distracted by one little mystery or another the hare doesn’t find the thought of winning a championship race or an upcoming election nearly as appealing as deciphering something that doesn’t fit the accepted rule. “After all,” he asserts, “the little anomalies are evidence that the current rule is inadequate which then disproves the naive assumption that a road provides protection from the dangers of the woods.”
The tortoise, a creature blessed with an uncommon share of common sense, simply passes on by these same irregularities because, for his clearly defined purposes, the rule still applies. The road has always been solid enough for him to travel and so he assumes with confidence that it will continue to serve the purpose of a road which is simply to provide an easier route than taking off willy-nilly through the forest. It is the tortoise’s personal opinion that the only reason for the inconsistencies is to distract the speedy hare from his goal and thus compensate the tortoise for the natural limitations of his gait.
Thus, for the hare the race is an excuse to take to the road which he sees as a continually refining series of experiments, observation points, postulates and theories. He wins by refining his general theory of roads. For the turtle the thrill of running and even the slimmest chance of winning the race is the goal in itself. No true conflict arises until . . . the tortoise calls in for a service truck to jump start the hare.