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The Fox and the Grapes

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Jean de La Fontaine depicted holding a folio with the first verses of "The Fox and the Grapes". (Marble sculpture by Pierre Julien, 1785)

"The Fox and the Grapes" is a fable by Aesop. It has been retold many times, notably by the 17th-century French fabulist, Jean de La Fontaine. "The Fox and the Grapes" has been adapted several times to animated cartoons.

Story[edit | edit source]

A hungry fox tries to reach a bunch of grapes at the top of a vine. He does not succeed, and walks away muttering, "I didn't want them anyway. They're probably sour." Moral: Any fool can despise what he cannot get. The fable gave rise to the popular taunt, "Sour grapes!"


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