Duck Duck Goose | Rabbit Rabbit Turtle.

Bonjour kids!  I have a question. What year is this?

a)  Some people call it 2011.

image of a present with fancy wrapping
let me guess, 2011 is going to offer a bunch of Happy Meal toys


b)  But other people call it the Year of the Turtle.

image of a turtle on a rock
a little elbow grease to get outta here…if only I had elbows


c)  Some people call it the Year of the Rabbit.

image of a pancake on a rabbit's head
you should see my brother with my father’s bowling ball

d) What kind of quiz is this?

e) all of the above

Which answer is correct?

Answer: e. all of the above

2011 also looks like it’s a tug of war between two animals.  Rabbit and turtle.

In China, as well as many other countries in Asia, the year 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.  The Chinese have 12 animals that mark their calendar, one animal for one particular year.  Being born in a particular year is believed to give that baby certain qualities like the animal.  People who were born in the year of the rabbit believe this:

Rabbit is a shy and friendly animal and doesn’t have too many enemies, except for Chicken . Therefore, for those people who born in the year of Chicken, their people relationship or social connection will be poor in the year of 2011.

But conservationists call 2011 to be the year of the turtle.  Two animals and one year.  Does it remind you of anything?  Have you ever heard about the race between the rabbit and the turtle (also called the hare and the tortoise)?

It’s a famous story.  Happened so long ago, in a time where things might or might not have happened but no one can really prove it.  People write books about the race. People put videos on You Tuber about it. That girl, Nancy, the one who was in your 2nd grade class last year? The one who eats only the bologna inside her sandwiches? She said something just the other day about it.  It seems as if you can’t get away from that story, and now it looks as if the story is coming back!  Are the rabbit and turtle about to meet again for another race for 2011?

A turtle challenges a rabbit to a race after being made fun of by the rabbit for being slow.

It seems like an unfair race is a race, since the turtle has a well-deserved reputation for being, well, slow.  And the rabbit for being swift.  But it’s the turtle who has made the race happen in the first place.  The race begins.  The rabbit zooms past the turtle, and decides that he, the rabbit, is so far ahead, that he’ll be able to take a little nap and wake up in time to still beat the turtle.  But you know what happens next, right?  The turtle, slow and steady, passes the sleeping rabbit.  The rabbit doesn’t wake up in time to catch up with the turtle, and the turtle wins the race.

Maybe it’s a good thing that PARC has decided to enter the turtle into the picture for this year.  They say:

“Turtles are disappearing from the planet faster than any other group of animal…However, it’s not too late for our turtle heritage to be salvaged.”

Time to slow the turtles down so that they can win.

But maybe the race is actually between us Planet Earthlings and time.

interactive game for kids for ipad available at itunes

race with rabbit – free game online