The Double Meaning Of The Fable, “The Fox And The Grapes”


The Fox And The Grapes

A hungry Fox saw some fine bunches of grapes hanging from a vine that was trained along a high trellis and did his best to reach them by jumping as high as he could into the air. But it was all in vain, for they were just out of reach. So he gave up trying and walked away with an air of dignity and unconcern, remarking, “I thought those grapes were ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.”  Jones, Vernon V.S., ed. Aesop’s Fables. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2003.

When I read this fable, I see two posible meanings and takeaways. On one hand, the story is saying that when you come across something that looks good, that you want, and you make an effort to get it without success, don’t let it bother you and just walk away going about your business. On the otherhand, the story is also saying (perhaps) that when you are not successful in getting something you want and on your own give up ataining it, don’t then “turn around” and “mock” it and the source of your setback.

Either one of these two meanings are useful and good take aways, it just depends on the person/s reading the story and how they see it. The great, useful thing about fables and stories in general is that there are multable things to learn and take away from them. They are both “one size fits all” lessons as well as “custimizable lessons.” We certingly see this in “The Fox and the Grapes.”

What are your thoughts on this fable and its two lessons for the reader?