The Robot who Learned to Run Fast: a bedtime story
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
(Leah was ok with suggesting the robot was faster than her. She understands the concepts of robotics better than I do.)
Once upon a time in Robotland there was a young robot with a read face and a green button nose who loved to run. He also loved his best friend, Leah, who also loved to run, and who, at this point in their lives, was the faster runner of the two.
Every day at recess, the two of them walked to the edge of the schoolyard while they ate their bologna sandwiches. As soon as they were both done eating, they lined up and button nose robot would say “ready, set, go!” and they’d run back to the school. Every day, Leah would win, and every time, button nose robot would yell at her.
One day, Leah had had quite enough of the yelling. “Robot, there is no need for you to yell at me every time you lose a race, There are many reasons why running slow is more fun than running fast,” she tried to explain.
“Oh yeah, Leah, please tell me just one of those things.”
“Well, the most important thing is running slow allows you to talk to snails. And snails are just about the smartest things in the world. They’ll give you all kinds of advice and tell you the funnest stories you’ve ever heard,”
Button nose robot said no more but decided next race, if he was still losing, he wouldn’t yell at Leah out of anger. Instead, he’d look around for snails and try to learn something from them.
As was the case every time before this race, button nose did find himself behind LEah after running for only a couple of seconds. As his mouth opened to yell, he remembered his promise.
“Dear snail,” he said as he spotted one crawling along the worn path they so often ran. “Would you mind talking to me as I complete this race?”
“You seem to lose races to this little girl fairly often button nose,” the snail said astutely. “Why do you think that is?”
“She’s faster than me,” button nose robot extrapolated.
“You’re a robot, you can run as fast as you want. Your problem is that you’re always trying to run as fast as Leah can, not as fast as you can. I had a rabbit friend once who was always trying to run as fast as me. He could never figure out hy he couldn’t do it. I told him to try and run faster than himself and I don’t know that he’s stopped running since.”
Button nose robot thanked the snail and finished the race well behind Leah, but he asked if she’d mind running the race again because the snail had given him plenty of good advice. Leah, proud that button nose robot had taken her advice, happily obliged.
Within three steps, button nose robot was already ten feet ahead of Leah and when he did reach the school, Leah was only halfway there.
“Very good button nose,” Leah congratulated him when she reached the school. “I told you snails were very smart.”
“And now I’ll never have to yell again.”
And Leah and button nose robot walked back inside for math class.
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