The fox and the grapes
All of us have heard the story of the fox who couldn’t reach the grapes and cried that they were sour. As children we were taught how the fox’s attitude was wrong, how it was so silly to blame the thing you didn’t get. Fair enough, but we were not told the story of the other fox. Let me tell you that one.
So there was a fox who knew that he loved grapes. All year long he had waited for the vines to bear fruit. He would dream of them every night. He also exercised regularly so that he would be able to stretch as required when the grapes would be within reach. Once the vines had started getting small, raw bunches, he started making rounds of the vineyard at night. It took days of patient watchfulness to know the watchman’s schedule and enter the vineyard and leave without being caught. Once that part was taken care of, now the fox had to choose the correct vine, the one with the juiciest grapes and also easily within reach. After a lot of observation and searching, he finally found the perfect vine. The grapes were almost ripe by now. But it was almost dawn and so he could only return the next night.
The fox went home to sleep and prepare for the eventful night. Now unknown to him, during the day one of the watchmen noticed his footprints in the vineyard. Simultaneously the owner of the vineyard also was on a visit. The owner felt the vines were hanging down a lot as they had become heavier with fruit. Coupled with the sight of footprints, the watchman thought it would be better to raise the bamboo supports and tie the vines a little higher, a step that was undertaken swiftly.
The poor fox was unaware of all this, he returned that night, full of excited anticipation. Sure of all the practice he had done of leaping, the fox made a valiant attempt. But what was this, how could his calculation go wrong? He tried again and again and again. But the vine was still out of reach. He looked all around in confusion and suddenly realised the vines had been raised. What would he do now? He had been starved so long, he had tried so hard and the vines had now been raised.
He had put in so much effort into figuring out this vineyard and there didn’t seem to be any other in sight. He had two options now. He could follow his ancestor and walk away in a huff blaming the grapes and the vineyard owner. Or he could remember the natural principle that as soon as the other grape bunches also ripen, the vine would start hanging lower again. Could he wait till then? Or will the owners pluck the grapes before he got a chance? He has been sitting on the fence, watching, ever since that day. What do you suggest he should do?