Lessons Learned from the Fox and His Beautiful Tail

There is something to learn from one of Aesop’s fables that tells the story of a fox and his beautiful tail.

One day, a clever fox escaped a trap by chewing off his tail. As you can imagine, the fox struggled to come to terms with this terrible loss. He even wondered if life was worth living now that he no longer had his beautiful tail.

Finally, he turned it around and proceeded to convince all the other foxes that life was better without a tail. He told them they were less likely to get caught by a hound or stuck in a trap. He said the hunters would stop hunting because there would be no longer be tails to cut off.

One wise fox saw what the tailless fox was doing and replied, “You’re only saying that because you’ve lost your tail. We’re smart enough to do the same if the same thing ever happens to us. In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy what we have.”

Five Lessons Learned from this Fable

1. It’s normal to struggle after something of value has been lost.

2. To say we’re better off because of our loss, minimizes the pain of loss and short-circuits the grieving process.

3. We must give ourselves permission to enjoy the gifts we have for as long as we have them.

4. We must hold our gifts with an open hand because what’s precious can be taken from us at any time.

5. Accepting loss makes room for a fresh perspective and creates space to find joy in what we still hold.

What lesson does this story hold for you?