A Straggler’s Perseverance

He watched the high school girls’
cross-country team practicing.
They sped past his house, up
the dune and back down again.
One, short speedster with pony-
tail flying, flew like a hare
past all the others, up and down,
up and down and round again,
circling her teammates. He watched
the stragglers and relived his
high school cross-country days
as the team straggler. He wanted
to run out the door and give the
stragglers encouragement telling
them that he now has forty-thousand
miles in forty-five years running on
his legs and that, indeed, the race
does go to the perseverance of the
tortoise, but, he stopped short. What
girl wants to be compared to a

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