Rabbit & Squirrel: Expectations

The rabbit and the squirrel who are very fond of each other always walk together in the pasture. The rabbit noticed that he walks faster than the squirrel, and the squirrel had the same observation. Soon they both figured that the rabbit’s strides are longer than the squirrel’s, and so as they walk the rabbit is always a half foot’s distance from the squirrel. The rabbit’s speed gave the squirrel a deep sense of security in a highly predatory world.

They heard of a particular strawberry field where many said the sweetest strawberries are found. They’ve decided to go to the strawberry field and eat strawberries together. So they walked along the paved path to the field. The rabbit and squirrel both walked and walked and walked, day and night, sighting the strawberry field ahead.

One day the squirrel noticed that the rabbit was no longer at sight. Since she has known that the rabbit’s strides are longer, she presumed that the rabbit has walked far ahead of her. She trusts the rabbit very much, and knows that he will keep their promise of eating the strawberries together. She held to that thought and kept walking. As she walked she imagined the rabbit winning races, and felt happy. The next day she imagined the same thing, and in the next day, and in the day after, and each time she’d feel secure.

As she walked happily with the thought of the rabbit’s impressive speed, a strawberry rolled from the hillside which stopped her at her tracks. She examined if the strawberry was from the strawberry field but was not intent on eating it. Before they set out to the strawberry field, she thought to herself that even if the field does not bear the sweetest strawberries, she still would feel happy eating strawberries with the rabbit by her side. She searched around for other strayed strawberries, and as she looked back she saw the rabbit.

All these while the squirrel thought that the rabbit was ahead of her. The sheer thought of the rabbit’s speed made her happy, but it turned out that the rabbit was not as fast as they both thought he was. The squirrel felt sad. Tears flowed to her eyes as she looked back at the rabbit. All of a sudden she noticed that the rabbit’s feet are calloused. The squirrel was quick to realize that the rabbit is faster on grass, and the paved path is where he’s the weakest. The rabbit hollered out saying that he will try to catch up.

The squirrel was crushed not because she thought the rabbit isn’t quick (for he actually is), but because she expected that his speed is telling on all surfaces.

Knowing that one day they will reach the strawberry field together, the two continued to walk.


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