Sour Grapes

Library of Congress

Aesop’s Fables

620-560 B.C

A Fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine trained along the branches of a tree. The grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the Fox’s mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them.

The bunch hung from a high branch, and the Fox had to jump for it. The first time he jumped he missed it by a long way. So he walked off a short distance and took a running leap at it, only to fall short once more. Again and again he tried, but in vain.

Now he sat down and looked at the grapes in disgust.

“What a fool I am,” he said. “Here I am wearing myself out to get a bunch of sour grapes that are not worth gaping for.”

And off he walked very, very scornfully.

There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.

Aesop’s Fables is an ancient collection of 147 stories designed to teach moral lessons. Their authorship is credited to Aesop, a Greek slave and storyteller thought to have lived between 620 and 560 B.C. The fables are some of the world’s best known and have been translated into multiple languages and become popular in hundreds of cultures.

Library of Congress