The Ant and the Cricket

The Ant and the Cricket


Once upon a summer’s day
A sun-kissed day in June, The air was alive with the sound of the Cricket
Thrumming a chirpy tune. Summer is here, the warm season of pleasure,
And bliss for the Cricket, an insect of leisure! I live for the moment, I can’t see what’s
wrong In singing my heart out all Summer long. The Cricket loved Summer, he spent his time
singing. In Summer there’s no need to work for a
living. By contrast the Ant was a creature of toil,
Working his legs off in barn and in soil. I have to work, work, piling up my store.
Work is the only way I can ensure
The winter wolf keeps from the door. Work! Nothing counts for more.
If the Cricket does no work Come winter
He’ll be miserably poor. The Ant kept at it, never ceased,
Each and every day. The lazy Cricket could not believe it,
He felt compelled to say: O Mr Ant! Earnest Mr Ant!
Why can’t you… Take some time off and enjoy yourself more?
Working all summer you seem such a bore. We have all we need – what is all of this
for? This stockpiling under the granary floor?
You’ll see, Mr Cricket; things are going to change.
Listen to what I tell you And perhaps you’ll understand
I’m not so strange. When you wake up with the morning’s blazing
sunbeams All the fields present a sparkling tissue
spun with cobweb and dew; But, Mr Cricket, soon Jack Frost will pay
a visit, He will turn those fields to ice cathedrals,
hoary white and blue. And the Titan Sun that shines so strongly
and so brightly now Will barely reach a quarter of the bleary,
cloud-grey sky. So you may think I work too hard; but when
you feel the mighty Winter’s Nightly pinch of cold and hunger you’ll
see clearly why. Sure enough the winter came:
The Ant was well prepared; But the Cricket was desolate, starving and
shivering: He had no one who cared. O Mr Ant! Kind Mr Ant!
Have you some alms for the poor? But the Ant said:
No. O Mr Ant! Please, Mr Ant!
Please won’t you Give me some grain from your copious store!
Just for the moment – I shan’t ask for more. But the Ant said:
No! No! I’ve no sympathy! I’m not a charity! How do you think my family
Would like it If I gave away our food?
Please! No!
Please! Don’t pester me! Don’t you see
I have other mouths to feed And anyway I’m not in the giving mood.
Once upon a winter’s day The Cricket understood
That all his singing and summery fun Had done him little good. Once upon a winter’s day
The busy Ant proved why, When life is easy, plentiful and kind,
We must put something by. I was too young, I was fooled by the present
To think life would always be easy and pleasant. But winter follows summer as day leads to
night: You should have prepared for this!
I should have prepared for this! He should have prepared for this!
You should have prepared for this! Yes, I should have prepared for this.
O Mr Ant…of course you’re right!

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