Even when someone is facing defeat, he will carry on harassing his opponent by one means or another.
This proverb is based on a story about a cunning fox that repeatedly snatched hens from their coop. Naturally the farmer noticed that his chickens were diminishing in number as each night passed. Determined to resist the rapacious fox, he closed all the gaps in the enclosure. Later that same evening the fox returned and found to his chagrin that a thicker, thornier fence now barred his way. There remained just one narrow hole that the farmer hadn’t bothered in closing. The fox pushed his tail into the gap and started to wag it briskly. In no time at all the chickens were cackling loudly in alarm and fear. Now it happened that another fox came passing by at this moment. Feeling curious, he stopped to ask why his brother was intent on troubling the chickens when there was no chance of catching even the smallest chick. The first fox replied, ‘Rather for the chickens to pass the night awake than to sleep.’ Although the fox was unable to attain his main goal, he had decided he could at least cause some nuisance to his adversaries.