There are two-toed sloths and there are three-toed sloths,the case being determined by the forepaws of the animals,since all sloths have three claws
on their hind paws. I had thegreat luck one summer of studying the three-toed sloth in situin the equatorial jungles of Brazil. It is a highly intriguingcreature. Its only real habit is indolence. It sleeps or rests
onaverage twenty hours a day. Our team tested the sleep habitsof five wild three-toed sloths by placing on their heads, in theearly evening after they had fallen asleep, bright red plasticdishes filled with water. We found them still in
place late thenext morning, the water of the dishes swarming with insects.
The sloth is at its busiest at sunset, using the word busy herein the most
relaxed sense. It moves along the bough of a treein its characteristic upside-down position at the speed ofroughly 400 metres an hour. On the ground, it crawls to itsnext tree at the rate of 250 metres an hour, when
motivated,which is 440 times slower than a motivated cheetah.
Unmotivated, it covers four to five metres in an hour.
“You aren’t announcing that you have been limiting yourself!” Roberta laughed.
“No, that isn’t my claim, but I have to confess that my limit is in sight,” he told her.
“Tough luck, Dad. Now, I am only getting well started,” Roberta said, then added to her mother, “If you drew prizes for all the good things you cook you
would have to have a museum for them as large as Colonel Lindbergh’s in St. Louis.”
“Second the motion,” Harvey put in, then went on to his young sister, “Who’s the lady you have been piloting along the coast the11 last couple of weeks?
Larry Kingsley told me she’s got loads of money and has taken to
taxiing about in
the air with
What other bright ideas do you have for your life?” I askedmyself.
Well, I still had a little money and I was still feelingrestless. I got up and walked out of the post office toexplore the south of India.
I would have liked to say, “I’m a doctor,” to those whoasked me what I did, doctors being the current purveyorsof magic and miracle. But I’m sure we would have had abus accident around the next bend, and ‘with all eyes
fixedon me I would have to explain, amidst the crying andmoaning of victims, that I meant in law; then, to theirappeal to help them sue the government
over the mishap, Iwould have to confess that as a matter of fact it was aBachelor’s in philosophy; next, to the shouts of whatmeaning such a bloody
tragedy could have, I would have toadmit that I had hardly touched Kierkegaard; and so on. Istuck to the humble, bruised truth.
Along the way, here and there, I got the response, “Awriter”? Is that so? I have a story for you.” Most times thestones were little more than anecdotes, short of breath andshort of life.
I arrived in the town of Pondicherry, a tinyself-governing union Territory south of Madras, on thecoast of Tamil Nadu. In population and size it is
aninconsequent part of India – by comparison, Prince EdwardIsland is a giant within Canada – but history has set itapart. For Pondicherry was once the
capital of that mostmodest of colonial empires, French India. The French wouldhave liked to rival the British, very much so, but the onlyRaj they
managed to get was a handful of small ports.
They clung to these for nearly three hundred years. Theyleft Pondicherry in 1954, leaving behind nice white buildings,broad streets at right angles to each
other, street namessuch as rue de la Marine and rue Saint-Louis, and kepis,caps, for the policemen.
Apple resisted licensing out the Macintosh operating system until 1994, when CEO Michael Spindler allowed two small companies, Power Computing and
Radius, to make Macintosh clones. When Gil Amelio took over in 1996, he added Motorola to the list. It turned out to be a dubious business strategy:
Apple got an $80 licensing fee for each computer sold, but instead of expanding the market, the cloners cannibalized the sales of Apple’s own high-
it made up to
$500 in profit.
Sun Qian had joined Guan Yu in escorting the two ladies, and they were on the road to Runan when
Xiahou Dun suddenly determined to pursue. So with a couple of hundred horse, Xiahou Dun set out.
When Xiahou Dun was seen approaching, Guan Yu bade Sun Qian go ahead with the carriage while he remained to deal with the pursuers.
When they were near enough, Guan Yu said, “In coming after me thus you do not reinforce the magnanimity of your master！”
Replied Xiahou Dun, “the Prime Minister has sent no definite instructions. You have caused
the death of several people, among them one of my commanders,
and so I have come to capture you！ You have behaved most grossly. The Prime Minister will decide.”
thereupon Xiahou Dun dashed forward with his spear ready to thrust.
But at that moment a rider came up behind him at full gallop, crying, “You must not fight with Guan Yu！”
Guan Yu stayed his steed at once and waited.
the messenger came up, drew from his bosom an official letter, and said to Xiahou Dun, “The Prime Minister loves General Guan Yu for his
loyalty and honor, and fearing lest Guan Yu might be stopped at the various passes, he sent me with this letter to show when necessary at any point on the road.”
“But this Guan Yu has slain several commanders of the passes. Does the Prime Minister know that？” said Xiahou Dun.
the messenger said these things were unknown.
“then,” said Xiahou Dun, “I will arrest him and take him to the Prime Minister, who may set him free or not as he wills.”
“Do you think I fear anything you can do？” said Guan Yu getting wrathful.
And he rode forward. Xiahou Dun, nothing loth, set his spear
and prepared for battle.
they met and had reached the tenth encounter when a second horseman came up at full speed, crying, “Generals, wait a little！”
Xiahou Dun stayed his hand and asked the messenger, saying, “Am I to arrest him？”
“No,” replied the messenger. “Fearing lest he should have
difficulties at the passes, the Prime Minister has sent me with a dispatch to say he is to be released.”
“Did the Prime Minister know that he had slain several commanders on the way？”
“He did not know！”
“Since he was ignorant of that, I may not let this Guan Yu go,” and Xiahou Dun gave the signal to his men to close in round Guan Yu.
But Guan Yu flourished his sword and made to attack them and a fight was again imminent, when a third rider appeared,
“Well, Yuan Shao then. The highest offices of state have been held in his family for four generations, and his clients are many in the empire. He is firmly posted in Jizhou, and he commands the services of many able people. Surely he is one.”
“A bully, but a coward. He is fond of grandiose schemes, but is devoid of decision. He makes for GREat things but grudges the necessary sacrifice. He loses sight of everything else in view of a little present advantage. He is not one.”
“there is Liu Biao of Jingzhou. He is renowned as a man of perfection, whose fame has spread on all sides. Surely he is a hero.”
“He is a mere semblance, a man of vain reputation. No； not he.”
“Sun Ce is a sturdy sort, the chief of all in the South Land. Is he a hero？”
“He has profited by the reputation of his father Sun Jian. Sun Ce is not a real hero.”
“What of Liu Zhang of Yizhou？”
“Though he is of the reigning family, he is nothing more than a watch dog. How could you make a hero of him？”
“What about Zhang Xiu, Zhang Lu, Han Sui, and all those leaders？”
Cao Cao clapped his hands and laughed very loudly, saying, “Paltry people like them are not worth mentioning.”
“With these exceptions I really know none.”
“Now heroes are the ones who cherish lofty
designs in their bosoms and have plans to achieve them.
They have all-embracing schemes,
and the whole world is at their mercy.”
At this Dong Cheng drew out the decree he had received and showed it. His host was deeply moved. Then Dong Cheng produced the pledge. There were only six names to it, and these were Dong Cheng, Wang Zifu, Chong Ji, Wu Shi, Wu Zilan, and Ma Teng.
“Since you have a decree like this, I cannot but do my share,” said Liu Bei, and at Dong Cheng’s request he added his name and signature to the others and handed it back.
“Now let us but get three more, which will make ten, and we shall be ready to act.”
“But you must move with GREat caution and not let this get abroad,” said Liu Bei.
the two remained talking till an early hour in the morning when the visitor left.
Now in order to put Cao Cao quite off the scent that any plot against him was in proGREss, Liu Bei began to devote himself to gardening, planting vegetables, and watering them with his own hands. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei ventured to remonstrate with him for taking to such an occupation when great matters needed attention.
“the reason for this you may not know,” replied he.
And they said no more.
One day when the two brothers were absent, and Liu Bei was busy in his garden, two generals of Cao Cao, Xu Chu and Zhang Liao, with an escort came from Cao Cao, saying, “The command of the Prime Minister is that you come at once.”
“What important affair is afoot？” asked Liu Bei nervously.
“We know nothing. We were ordered to come and request your presence.”
All he could do was to follow.
When Liu Bei arrived, Cao Cao met him and laughingly said, “That is a big business you have in hand at home.”
This remark made Liu Bei turn the color of clay.
Cao Cao took him by the hand and led him straight to the private garden, saying, “
The growth of vegetables that you are trying to learn is very difficult.”
Liu Bei breathed again. He said,
“That is hardly a business. It is only a solace.”