Since I just painted a leaf and didn’t feel like painting one again yet, for today’s prompt of “plants” we have some grapes on the vine. Grapes are a personal favorite of mine, not only in their raw form, but also because they’re the primary ingredient in the wine I’m about to drink. Actually, on second thought, since it’s Saturday evening, I think I’ll go ahead and pour a glass right now. Be right back… Okay, that’s better. So, grapes, eh? The first thing that comes to mind beyond this wine is the Aesop’s fable about a fox and some grapes. The fox sees them on a high vine, thinks they’d quench his thirst, but after several failed attempts gets pissed and prounounces them sour. That’s the gist anyway, and why when someone acts like they don’t really want something they can’t have, we say “it’s just sour grapes.” That’s not a particulary positive fable, I know, but any story like this with a fox in it always ends up that way. Aesop apparently thought foxes were naughty.
But it’s interesting to think about the concept of sour grapes. I’ve definitely been guilty of dismissing the lavish life of a celebrity as “too much trouble and not worth it in the end.” This, of course, translates to, “damn, I wish I had that much money!” Typically, I try instead to think in terms of sweet grapes. When there’s something I want that feels unattainable, I just keep on dreaming about it like it might actually happen someday. This habit of the assuming the best instead of the worst doesn’t always work out well. I’m often disappointed by the things that didn’t happen, but I’m so busy dreaming of the next things that might happen I tend to get distracted before I could ever be sad about it. The possibilities in life always seem to enthrall me. And, truly, anything is indeed possible, it’s just that most things are highly unlikely. But that’s no reason to stop trying to achieve them. The fox simply gave up too soon.
So, in my story, the fox sees a lovely bunch of grapes hanging above him and after several failed attempts says, “Those grapes look really sweet, it’s probably worth trying again tomorrow.” Or something like that, written with more panache and not a glass of wine in my hand. It’s still short and sweet in its telling, but it’s a story that doesn’t end quite as abruptly. In fact, it could well be a story that doesn’t end at all. The fox has instead committed to continuing to try to get exactly what he wants each day. The moral, in this one, would be that you should never give up on your dreams no matter how unattainable they seem. A much better story to teach children than one that ends so sour. Though maybe we cast a turtle instead. Aesop seems to think them nicer. At any rate, this way, if we see someone who’s achieved something amazing, rather than feeling jealous, we could instead happily cheer them on. Or we might simply smile knowingly and turn to the person next us and say, “It’s not really so impossible, it’s just sweet grapes.”Recommended1 recommendationPublished in
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!