I’m sure you know the story about the race between the rabbit and the turtle, where the cocky rabbit took a nap after confirming he was well ahead and woke up only to see the diligent turtle cross the finish line first and win the race. The moral of this story was that you should not be conceited in life.

A few years ago, I got to know about a different version of the story. I got that version from someone very special, someone who taught me how to love. I think it gives a more important lesson than the real story (or what we think is the real story). It goes as follows:

Once upon a time, there lived a rabbit and a turtle. The turtle did not know the fact, but the rabbit loved the turtle. It was the rabbit’s precious and pure love, which nobody else knew about.

One day, the rabbit saw the turtle and felt so much pain in its heart because of seeing the turtle self-reproaching itself for being too late very often. For being too late and slow in everything. The rabbit loved the turtle and wanted to give self-confidence to the turtle using whatever method possible.

“Hey dawdler turtle! Do you want to run a race with me? I bet you are no match for me, though. How about it?” asked the rabbit. “Rabbit, although I’m slow… I’ll do the race with you. I will show you that being fast is not always the best,” answered the turtle. And so the rabbit was happy the turtle accepted.

The race started. It was a race to the top of the hill. Ofcourse, the turtle couldn’t catch up with the rabbit. The rabbit got far ahead of the turtle, and as he was running he thought: “Would the turtle follow me? Wouldn’t he give up?” The rabbit only thought of the turtle while running. And not after long, the gap between them became too big, and so the rabbit decided to wait for the turtle. But the rabbit couldn’t just stand still and wait, so the rabbit decided to pretend to sleep on the road, and wished that the turtle would come and wake him up to continue the race. And then they would be able to run together to the top.

And what happened next? We all know what happened next. The turtle passed the rabbit, who was sleeping on the road, and won the race. But nobody knew… the tears of the rabbit who was lying on the road, pretending to be asleep…

After the race, the turtle became the symbol of diligence and sincerity. However, the rabbit was branded for its self conceit and overconfidence. But the rabbit swallowed the blame and insult. The rabbit wanted to see the turtle being happy, even like that…

Once upon a time, there lived a rabbit and a turtle. The turtle did not know the fact, but the rabbit loved the turtle. And that was the rabbit’s own sadness.

And the moral of the story, as she explained to me, is that we always tend to believe what we only see, hear or verify. But have you ever thought about the fact that sometimes, even if things are not seen, heard or verified, there can be a hidden truth… ?