I really enjoyed collaborating with Jenny Fares of Sound Mind Creative on a recreation of the Tortoise & Hare tale for the Asheville Grown ‘Go Local Guide’. The story was a fun addition to help share the important work that Asheville Grown is doing in our community to keep Asheville ‘Unchained and Independent.’
Deep in the forests in Asheville, in a cozy wood not far from the WNC Nature Center, there lived a hare and tortoise. The hare was known for being the fastest animal in the whole town, zipping and hopping and zooming about. Tortoise, on the other hand, was thoughtful, yet as slow and steady as molasses in January.
The hare had plans to bring in a BIG chain store, the hundredth of its kind. He knew he could build it faster and bigger than anything local. The chain’s stockholders would be proud to see the money leaving Asheville and lining their pockets. The tortoise, on the other hand, had confidence in the people and leaders of this magical town. She wasn’t concerned with that ol’ hare and challenged him to build community instead. Her business would be different than his. She would share the ownership and success with her coworkers, ensure everyone got a living wage and strengthen her business by using the talents of other locally owned businesses. Plus, she had two secret weapons: a powerful little card from the strong Go Local movement and a community of people who understood the importance of keeping their hometown unique and full of art, music and laughter.
The hare built a towering building with stainless steel doors and a glass ceiling. As he lay down to take a nap, he chuckled as he looked across the street at ol’ slow poke’s effort. The tortoise was hand-painting a sign for her storefront, picking out interesting pieces from local artists to put in her shop and ordering takeout for her coworkers from a local kitchen down the street.
They both called out to the city leaders to come cut the ribbons and welcome their businesses. All of tortoise’s friends and neighbors lined up outside her shop, excited to support the thoughtful work of their dear friend. The hare, on the other hand, looked angrily on from across the street as his cheap items sat in piles with only one or two people wandering among them.
So “don’t brag about your lightning pace for slow and steady won the race!” And that is exactly what friends and family in Asheville do by choosing to Go Local!