Miles Kington Remembered: When tortoise beats hare, it's time for the drug-testers

27 February 1996

Share
Related Topics

Today – old stories retold for our times!

The Fox and the Grapes

A fox sat and looked up at the juiciest, most luscious grapes he had ever seen.

"I would give anything to have those grapes," he said.

So he jumped and jumped but couldn't reach them.

"Well, I bet they were sour anyway," he said, as he strolled away tired and thirsty. But a bird heard him and said: "A moment ago you were saying you would give anything for those grapes. Now you are saying the opposite."

"I think you will find," said the fox with great dignity, "that at the time I was speaking with the utmost sincerity and that if I was wrong, it was not intentional. I did not mislead anyone."

"You certainly misled me," said the bird. "Your policy on grapes swung round 180 degrees in a second."

"There may have been a slight shift in guidelines," said the fox, "but to talk of a change in policy is nonsense."

"Resign!" said the bird.

It was the last thing she said. Later, the fox defended his eating her as in line with fox thinking at the time, and besides, he had absolutely no memory of it.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

All summer long the ant worked to save food for the long winter, but the grasshopper spent the long sunny days singing and playing and disporting herself. At last the cold season came, and the grasshopper discovered she had no food for the winter.

"Will you not give me some of your food?" said she to the ant.

"Why should I?" said he. "You should've thought of that before."

"Never mind," said the grasshopper. "I am the chairman of the North Yorkshire Grasshopper Supply Board. I am sure we have put by plenty." But when she went to ask the supply board for food, they confessed they had failed to put any by, and she was forced to resign.

"Now I have nothing!" she cried.

"On the contrary," they said, "you have a golden handshake of a million pounds. That should see you through."

And it did, because she was able to buy the ant's food off him.

The Hare and the Tortoise

The hare and the tortoise agreed to have a running race. The hare didn't bother to train at all, but the tortoise went into a strict dieting and weight-losing regime.

On the day of the race the hare realised half-way through the race that he was in danger of letting the slow but persistent tortoise break the tape first, so he accelerated. But the tortoise had too much of a lead and just got the decision on the line.

"I demand a drugs test!" cried the hare. The tortoise submitted to the drugs test with a clear conscience, but traces of a forbidden substance were found in his body (later discovered to come from his diet pills) and he was disqualified.

"There's no way he could beat me without drugs," said the hare at the post-race press conference.

"Will you give him a rematch?" he was asked.

"Sure, if the money's right."

There was a rematch, but nobody knows who won, as it was on pay-as-you-view TV and nobody bothered to pay or view.

The Ugly Duckling

Once there was a farmyard where there was a mother duck who had a family of little ducklings who were all very normal except one that grew gangly and very thin and tall. The other ducklings made fun of the awkward, gangly duckling and its dark colouring, until a photographer came along and saw it and said: "Wow! Amazing! This could be the New Look!"

And the tall, thin, ugly duckling was paraded round the world and became a supermodel and earned millions on the catwalk, though she preferred to call it the duckwalk. But one day she blossomed out into a beautiful, buxom, snowy-white bird, with curves instead of straight lines, and everyone said: "Ugh! A swan! Nobody looks like that any more! The swan look was last year's look!"

And she was thrown out, back into the farmyard, and all the copies of her remaindered novel were thrown out after her.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

An unelectable extremist who hijacked their party has already served as prime minister – her name was Margaret Thatcher

Jacques Peretti
 

I don't blame parents who move to get their child into a good school

Chris Blackhurst
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent