301. “Tops & Bottoms” adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens

We all know that laziness doesn’t pay off, yet many of us would agree that  being idle comes quite naturally to a human being. How else would we explain the success of such ‘indispensable’ devices like the remote control or microwave oven.  Why bother cooking if we can order a take-out and why walk if we can drive? We don’t move enough? Let’s drive to the gym then , right?  I want my son to make better choices and “Tops & Bottoms” offers a great lesson on a short-lived glory of doing nothing.

Bear was a lucky heir of his father’s fortune and land. Ironically, he didn’t inherit his father’s motivation. All he wanted to do was sleeping. Unlike his neighbor, Hare, who was smart and eager to work, but had no land and has been through some dire straights. Clever Hare, came up with a plan to do business with the sleepy neighbor. The Hare’s family would work on Bear’s land and then they will share profits with the land owner. “So what will it be, Bear?’ asked Hare. “The top half or the bottom half?” Bear chose the tops. But since Hare planted the field with carrots and radishes, Bear’s crops were nonexistent. The next year Bear chose the bottoms, but what was he supposed to do with the roots of lettuce and broccoli? The third year Bear demanded both.

Will Bear finally get his share of crops or will Hare trick him one more time? I can only tell you that on the fourth year, Bear realized that if “you snooze, you lose.”

A delightful story with a moral, engaging pictures and lots of information about vegetable gardens.


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