Once I knew a boy, a second grader in fact, who could run fast. In fact, when he ran really, really fast, his feet would blur and you could not see his tennis shoes or his socks—they simply were a flash of color.
He loved to run. He loved to play sports—baseball, basketball, soccer. And, he loved to run track. Anything that involved running.
He loved chasing rabbits in the meadow and racing with birds in the grassy field. He could run like the wind.
As fast as he was, however, and although he could keep up with the birds, he could never quite get close enough to catch one. They were always one step ahead of him.
So, he told his mother, Mom, I can run really, really fast but never fast enough to catch a bird.
Well, his mother said, I’ll give you this salt shaker and if you can put salt on the tail of a bird, then you'll be able to catch it!
Oh, he was so excited! He couldn’t wait to try this new trick. Well, he tried and tried, ran and ran until he ran out of summer and ran out of salt. But no bird to show his mom.
When summer ended and school started, he was busy playing games with his friends and sports during recess and on the weekends. He was sad that he had tried all summer but never could quite catch a bird.
But then he heard that if you really did salt a bird’s tail then the bird wouldn’t be able to fly any more. Thinking about that made him sad. As much as he loved to run, he knew birds loved to fly just as much.
So he made a deal with himself. He decided he would not try to catch birds any more.