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Sour Grapes

Hare was walking along the river bank when he came across a tree ripe and pregnant with fruits. The berries hung so invitingly. They looked so succulent and sweet. “How lucky I am today,” an excited Hare told himself. “How I have longed to eat these berries, how I have searched for them for such a long time in vain! What a very beautiful day,” Hare sang in joy, his appetite now sharply wetted. He was so thirsty and what a nice way to just suckle the berries to quench his thirst.

But as he tried to reach the berries, he discovered to his great disappointment and distress that he could not reach the fruits. The fruit tree hung precariously over the river bank and he could see a hungry looking crocodile timing him in the waters. The crocodile pretended to be asleep but Hare who always sleeps with one eye closed and knew all about eye tricks would not fall for crocodile’s pretensions. He smiled contemptuously at the cunning crocodile and decided to ignore him. His greater challenge was that even if he reached the tree, he could not access the berries. Hares did not know how to climb trees anyway and he had no speciall skills.

He picked a dry stick nearby and tried his luck again but made no progress.  He tried to stand on his toes to get a little taller, but the tree only seemed higher. He reached the lower berries but every time he hit a berry, the fruit would fall into the water and into the waiting mouth of the “sleeping” crocodile. After trying for several hours, an exhausted Hare gave up.

And so he left, cursing the tree and the whole world for being so unfair to him.  But not without first telling off the tree. “Useless tree, useless berries. Who told you I wanted berries anyway? I did not want any berries, I was just enjoying my walk and the sweet chirrup of beautiful birds along the river. You are so tasteless, infact, you are so bitter anyway! You can drop all your berries in the river for all I care, no one will ever eat you anyway!”

So like Hare, sometimes we want something so badly. But when we fail to get it, we  become nasty and unreasonable. We lack the humility to accept defeat and move on to a different path which may even be better and richer than the one we left behind.


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