Peter Possum and Randy Raccoon were good friends. They explored the hills and dells of Lambert County and loved going for a cool swim in Grover Pond.
One Tuesday in autumn, Peter and Randy ended up near the main road in Lambert County looking for their favourite loot—crisp, juicy apples that had fallen from the tree. They loved to follow this treat with some fat, juicy worms—the night-crawler kind.
A special delicacy would be what humans call “candy.” But that was hard to come by in these outskirts of Lambert County.
Peter and Randy were munching on an apple when they spied old Thomas Turtle creeping toward them from across the road. Peter Possum laughed and made fun of old Thomas, stating, “It’ll take him all day to get here. C’mun, let’s go dig for worms.”
Randy Raccoon ignored Peter’s usual impatience and watched Thomas Turtle intently. Randy was awed by Thomas’ gigantic, tough shell and roomy mouth where he kept all kinds of snacks.
Peter scampered into the underbrush but Randy stayed put, staring at Thomas. “Hey there, Young Pup,” Thomas remarked slowly, glancing at Randy.
Randy was enthralled by Thomas’ slow but sure movement across the street. “Hi, Thomas!” Randy said spritely.
Just then, Randy heard Peter’s clear voice resonating from the trees, “Are you coming or not?” Randy Raccoon didn’t answer. Instead, he focused on Thomas’ journey.
After several minutes, Thomas Turtle finally reached the other side of the street. He crept over toward Randy Raccoon as Randy squealed with glee, “Thomas, you made it!”
Thomas slowly dropped his hinged jaw. Out popped a big candy jelly teddy bear! Thomas winked at Randy Raccoon and said, “That’s for you. You’re a real sport to wait for me, just to have a quick visit.”
“Thanks, Thomas!” And with that, Randy Raccoon hungrily gobbled up that teddy bear treat.
Moral: When you’re patient with others in your daily life, you’ll often be rewarded.
Even though Peter Possum and Randy Raccoon were good friends, they took different approaches in life. Peter had a more adventurous spirit. He was quite precocious and maybe even a little tempestuous.
Randy Raccoon, although he appreciated Peter Possum’s qualities, was less adventurous, more thoughtful and interested in others and quite patient with the various inhabitants of Lambert County.
Randy’s interest and thoughtfulness in old Thomas Turtle was obvious— Randy was fascinated by Thomas Turtle’s differences. The hard-shelled body, his slow-moving nature and gentle spirit towards others peaked Randy’s interest in the large land turtle. Randy wanted to know all about Thomas. Randy Raccoon was willing to be patient to satisfy his curiosities about Thomas.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a position where an older person or one with more experience was willing to share time and knowledge with you. Were you like Peter Possum—too busy to take notice and not all that interested in learning from the wise person?
Or did you follow Randy Raccoon’s example — be willing to stop what you’re doing to pay attention and show patience in waiting for whatever the person with experience has to offer?
Taking the time and having patience in all types of situations with other people can result in your being pleasantly surprised in all kinds of ways. If you show patience, you’ll reap many rewards.
- When you find yourself in situations with people who work more slowly than you do, how do you respond to them?
- Do you simply prefer to re-focus on what you were doing and finish your task? Or are you interested in learning about whatever wisdom the person has to offer?
- What do you see as the rewards for your patience? How do you benefit from being patient?