A painting of two men hiding in a tree in horror, inspired by an old Mexican fable.

The Horror of Haste (A Mexican Fable)

This is a Mexican fable written by Juan Artola Miranda. It is a parable about patience and haste, or at least that’s how it seems.

Once, in a small village near the edge of a vast jungle, there lived two adventurous young men named Carlos and Marcos. Eager for excitement, they decided one day to venture deep into the heart of the jungle to pick the sweetest and juiciest fruits that grew there. They knew the heavy city gates closed at sunset, but they were confident they would return before then.

As they wandered further into the jungle, the bountiful trees tempted them to pick ever more fruit. Time slipped away unnoticed until they saw the sun hanging heavy and orange in the sky. They tried to hurry back home, but in their haste, they became disoriented and lost their way.

As the sky turned red, they stumbled upon a small, weathered hut where an old man lived. Desperate to return to the village, they asked the old man for directions. The wise old man, sensing their fear, told them that they had just enough time to make it back to the village before the gates closed, but they must walk the entire way.

The young men found this advice peculiar, but the prospect of returning home safely heartened them. So, they began walking. However, as the sun sank lower, their fear grew stronger, and they broke into a jog. Carlos, in his haste, accidentally dropped his basket of fruits. They spent precious minutes picking up the scattered fruits, knowing time was running out.

They resumed their journey, running even faster now. But in their panic, Marcos tripped on a tree root and sprained his ankle. Unable to walk, he leaned on Carlos as they hobbled along. As the sun disappeared beyond the horizon, they found a tall tree to climb, hoping to hide from the dangers of the night.

When they awoke the next morning, feeling sore and stiff but entirely uneaten by dragons, they discovered that a group of crocodiles had gathered around the tree, waiting for them to descend. Unfortunately, the crocodiles were in no hurry at all.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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