Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Aesop's Fables: The Fox and the Grapes

The Fox and the Grapes

The illustration of the fable by Fran├žois Chauveau in the first volume of La Fontaine's fables, 1668 

One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.” 


It is easy to despise what you cannot get. 

1761 illustration 

Some comments: 

W J Linton’s limerick version: 

This Fox has a longing for grapes: 
He jumps, but the bunch still escapes. 
So he goes away sour; 
And, 'tis said, to this hour 
Declares that he's no taste for grapes. 

The above Aesop’s Fable gave rise to the expression “sour grapes”, meaning putting something down or making it out to be unimportant when it is unattainable.

A collection of sour grapes.

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