the fable of Fox’s choices

Many or most know about the fox and the sour grapes…

We know how the fox leapt and leapt and leapt, but despite his fierce effort, couldn’t reach that luscious bunch of grapes dangling above him.

“Those grapes are probably sour anyway,” he said as he trotted off.

A valuable lesson about self-deception.  However, I can’t help but wonder…

What happened with Fox afterwards?

Maybe he never tried to jump for anything ever again.  Maybe he went for low-hanging fruit or the unguarded hen house.

Or perhaps he tried to compensate for that failure.  Maybe instead of doing less, he pushed himself to do more and more…using his anger as a driving force.

If we adopt that ending, I guess the fable has two morals, instead of just one…

But this is a new fable, not an old fable.  In our new fables, the endings are often open-ended.  We entertain possibilities.  We ask questions—but without expecting to find a single infallible answer.

For example:

What if Fox decided to never jump again—but only after listening to his heart and realizing: deep down, he really wasn’t the jumping type.  No, he preferred to keep all four paws on the ground.

On the other hand…

…what if he did try to compensate and as a result, rose high in the world…

…but indulged in self-deception all the way up…

…oblivious to his deeper motivations?

In that case, can we truly call him a success?

My own beliefs may seem obvious by the way I presented these two scenarios…

However, this is a new fable, so I’m still open to argument.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry blog

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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