Deer Me!

By Alan B. Combs

You are all familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. Through sloth and laziness, and sheer disrespect, the hare was shaved at the finish. The forest creatures generally considered this to be a fluke (a particularly despicable form of creature, remember), but they made a promise to themselves never to be caught this way again.

One day it came to pass that the tortoise once more found himself in a challenge match, but this time with an even more formidable opponent, the Stag, the unquestioned King of the Forest. The tortoise moved out with a pace characterized by Sloan’s Teddy (oops, sorry, that’s a different tale). The deer was out of shape, not having competed seriously for several years, but he remembered the lesson of the rabbit and vowed not to make the same mistake.

Consequently, the majestic animal pushed himself as hard as he could, eating up the distance with large leaps as only a stag in a hurry can do. In truth, he strived too hard, and as he neared the finish line, his old ticker quit. He died valiantly, but another loser in the race with the turtle, another victim of hart failure.

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