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Modernizing a Parable


Thurber punctures in an incisive way the platitudes that come from stories handed down through the generations. These old saws are accepted by everyone. One such tale is about a tortoise who had read in an ancient book that a tortoise who had read in ancient book that a tortoise had beaten a hare in race. The sage old tortoise construed this story to mean that he could outrun a hare. Which equanimity he hunted for a hare and soon find one. “Do you have the effrontery to challenge me?” asked the incredulous hare. “You are a nonentity,” he scoffed at the tortoise. A course of fifty feet was set out. The other animals gathered around the site. At the sound of the gun they were off. When the hare crossed the finish line, the flabbergasted tortoise had gone approximately eight and three-quarter inches. The moral Thurber draws from this debacle for the tortoise: A new broom may be sweep clean, but never trust an old saw.

  • puncture – menusuk, membocorkan, make a puncture in (something); kebocoran
  • incisive – tajam, jelas, (of a person or mental process) intelligently analytical and clear-thinking
  • platitude – basa basi, a remark or statement, esp. one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
  • saws- pepatah, peribahasa, a proverb or maxim.
  • outrun- berlari lebih cepat, run or travel faster or farther than
  • hare – kelinci, a fast-running, long-eared mammal that resembles a large rabbit, having long hind legs and occurring typically in grassland or open woodland.
  • equanimity – keseimbangan batin, mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, esp. in a difficult situation.
  • effrontery- kelancangan, insolent or impertinent behavior.
  • incredulous- meragukan, (of a person or their manner) unwilling or unable to believe something.
  • nonentity- tak berarti, a person or thing with no special or interesting qualities; an unimportant person or thing.
  • scoff- mengejek, mencemooh, speak to someone or about something in a scornfully derisive or mocking way.
  • flabbergasted- terperangah
  • debacle – bencana, kegagalan, a sudden and ignominious failure; a fiasco.

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