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The Ant and the Grasshopper
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The Ant and the Grasshopper

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Adapted from the classic Aesop's Fables by Mickey Cesar.

 

Voiced by Mickey Cesar

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The Ant and the Grasshopper

Once upon a time, on a bright, beautiful summer morning, a Grasshopper was relaxing in the meadow, hopping about, singing and dancing contentedly. Every now and then he would stop and nibble on a tasty blade of grass, relishing every bit. It was truly heaven for the Grasshopper, a carefree world where every need was provided.

Soon, however, the Grasshopper became a bit bored with just hopping and chirping his little song. He clung to a blade of grass, and thought about what he might do for the rest of the afternoon. While he was wool-gathering thus, he happened to notice on the ground beneath him an Ant, wrestling with a kernel of wheat, and slowly dragging it through the dirt towards his nest. The Grasshopper cleared his throat, and then called down to him. “Hello, Ant!” he implored, “come, sit, rest a while. It's a gloriously beautiful day... why not hang out with me a bit, and enjoy some pleasant conversation? I could use the company, and from the looks of it, you could use a break!”

“Thanks, but no,” the Ant replied, “though you seem like a fine fellow, that would be imprudent. I am helping my colony stockpile stores of corn and grain for the winter, and I must do my share. Really, I would recommend you do the same.”

“Oh, come on!” the Grasshopper retorted with some annoyance, “winter is months and months from now! Live for the moment, don't just slave away, toiling! For now, there is plenty to eat, and time to sing. Worry about tomorrow when it comes.”

“As you wish,” said the Ant, “you do whatever you like. You mind your business, and I'll mind mine. Good day, sir!” and with that, the Ant resumed his labor, and had soon dragged the kernel of corn out of sight.

The Grasshopper was piqued. “What an arrogant Ant!” he muttered to himself, “imagine: he might as well have said I am worthless and lazy. Such a self-righteous insect! Forget him. There are still blades of grass, and songs to sing!” and with that, he happily hopped away the afternoon.

However, as happens every year, the days passed, and winter came. The Grasshopper watched the meadow turn imperceptibly from green to brown, and then from brown to white. The days wore on, and the Grasshopper grew weaker and weaker from the cold and lack of food, until one day he chanced upon the Ant, who was busy with his brother ants distributing bits of corn and grain from their stores among them.

“Ant, dear friend!” the Grasshopper gasped, “please could you spare a bit of that grain for a friend? I am near starvation!”

“Sorry, but I can't,” the Ant replied. “You did nothing all summer, and my sisters and brothers need every bit of what we collected.”

Too weak to protest, the Grasshopper went away, suffering and hungry, having learned too late 

IT IS BEST TO SAVE FOR THE DAYS OF NECESSITY.