A Tortoise and the Mountain
Lim Soon Hock
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Do not be deceived by the title. “A Tortoise and The Mountain” is not a children’s story book.
It is an allegory to inspire youths and adults, through the trials and tribulations of Torii, a tortoise - a small creature which often hides in a shell and frequently associated with not wanting to deal with problems - trying to climb and conquer a massive mountain, Mount Hap, many times her size. It conveys a message of hope, courage, toil, perseverance, humility and about how it is possible to get the network of support and encouragement to guide us and to keep us going, even when the going gets tough. The parable is filled with rich imagery and descriptive text. While reading, readers will inevitably be drawn slowly and consciously to be in the shoes of Torii, to experience her incredible adventure, feel her trials and tribulations, and enjoy her final triumph over hardships and sufferings.
The author has “once again done what all good fables do and demonstrate – with perseverance and determination, success will be ours. Bide the time and bear the consequences and ultimately, the negative forces surrounding us will be defeated and joy and success will emerge triumph.”
“From the young, who will find delight in the character’s meanderings to the profound realizations at the end, all who read this remarkable fable attentively, will be enriched and will always remember the heroic adventures of our irreplaceable Torii.” Like “The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse”, written by Charlie Mackesy, both our boo preach the ideal moral values and virtues of hope, friendships and love, and more – solacking in our world today – and that beneath our skins of many hues and beneath, we are all universally the same.
Quote is from Professor (Dr) Kirpal Singh, Creativity Guru, Vice President of American Creativity Association and Visiting Scholar at the Stern School of Business, New York University
Critique and Review by Professor (Dr) Kirpal Singh, Creativity Guru, Vice President of American Creativity Association and Visiting Scholar at the Stern School of Business, New York University :
“A Timely and Necessary Fable ...
In writing about the trials and tribulations of Torii and her final triumph over hardships and sufferings, Lim has once again done what all good fables do and demonstrate – with perseverance and determination, success will be ours. Bide the time and bear the consequences and ultimately, the negative forces surrounding us will be defeated and joy and success will emerge triumph.
In the growing richness of Singapore’s literature – a literature that is still assiduously finding its feet, so to speak – the rarity of fables clearly stands out. It is precisely here that Lim rescues us by giving us this remarkable fable, which can be enjoyed by all. From the young, who will find delight in the character’s meanderings to the profound realisations at the end, all who read this remarkable fable attentively, will be enriched and always remember the heroic adventures of our irreplaceable Torii.”
"A Tortoise and the Mountain" brought out clearly many 'conflicts' which Torii faces in her journey up the mountain. Many of the moral lessons Soon Hock tries to impart via the struggles of Torii along the way are easily grasped by the reader.”
Retired Professor Chua Joon Eng, NUS, an expert and a critic of short stories
“It is Soon Hock’s best piece thus far – the most descriptive with lots of flavour and values skilfully intertwined within. Enjoyable to read for many, especially to inspire and to entertain the youths and adults, as well as those who enjoy nature and animals.”
Shireen Cheong, short stories enthusiast and one of the authors of Golden Nuggets
“Do not be deceived by the title of the allegory. Read to be amazed by the rich imagery and beautiful text, about Torii and her incredible adventure.”
Tracy Chang, Director & Finance Manager, Calm Oceans Pte Ltd
“Be the Best You Can Be” is possibly the most important life principle for a world and a future so unpredictable, so uncertain, so unknowable. Anything less is to fail to honour our individual talents and abilities. Yet discovering the limits of “best” needs all the tenacity and resilience and venturesome we can muster. Soon Hock has well captured such a drive for discovery and accomplishment in his little story about a tortoise who tries beyond limits.”
Lim Siong Guan / Chairman, Honour (Singapore) /Joint author with Joanne H Lim of “The Leader, The Teacher & You” and “Winning with Honour”
“ ‘A Tortoise and the Mountain’ gives storytellers a variety of nuggets to share about life that can encompass the 4Ls: Live, Laugh, Love and Learn, through Torii’s ambitious journey up Mount Hap. Lessons, leaders young and old, can most certainly glean from.”
Martin Tan, Co-Founder, Halogen Foundation Singapore
“We are blessed if we have members in our lives, who can inspire us to scale lofty heights. Torii had one in her grandfather. Her timely recollection of his wise words, ‘Life is meant to be an adventure ..’ spurred her to complete the mission. May fathers inspire their children and grandchildren to dream gloriously and embrace life with joyful fulfilment.”
Richard Hoon, Chairman, Centre for Fathering & Dads for Life
“Stories have for millennia been our way of sharing insights, imparting values and remembering what is important. “A Tortoise and The Mountain” is a wonderful way to share Soon Hock’s many years of experience and lessons learned as a corporate and community leader who always kept his heart and mind on the greater good.”
Melissa Kwee, Chief Executive Officer, National Volunteerism and Philanthropy Centre
“Soon Hock’s parable about the trials and tribulations of a tortoise trying to conquer a mountain is timely, when businesses are facing more challenges in uncertain times, and should continue to persevere and be daring to do the right things.”
Dr Stephen Riady, Executive Chairman, OUE Limited
Leadership, Parable, Fable, Moral Values, Adventure, Mountaineering, Tortoise, Entrepreneurship., Aesop