Sawyer’s Gray Fox.
What kind of lesson is that to teach a child? Don’t you want him to learn to strive? My friend shook her head, even as she smiled.
I had shown her the gray fox I had painted for my grandson to celebrate his sixth birthday.
She asked me, Why is there a grape on the ground?
Well, I explained, it’s hiding a smudge of black ink.
But that doesn’t fit the story!
No, I agreed, it doesn’t. But I like this story better. I thought of my friend Marlon Hall, who taught ways to “tell better stories to ourselves about ourselves” at the retreat where I made his acquaintance.
So with all due respect to Aesop and La Fontaine and whomever else deserves a nod for giving us these stories, here is my revisionist version of The Fox and the Grapes. Happy sixth birthday, sweet Sawyer.
One day a hungry fox came across a grapevine. Beautiful purple grapes hung from the vine. The hungry little fox tried and tried, but he could not leap high enough to grab the grapes. Tired and disappointed, the fox sat down to rest. Then he noticed a small bunch of grapes, nearly hidden beneath a grape leaf, lying before him on the ground–practically at his feet! The little gray fox bit into one of the grapes. It was sweet and juicy! He ate all the grapes, and then he wasn’t hungry anymore.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want.13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)