The ant and the grasshopper

Once upon a time there lived an ant and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow. The ant would work hard throughout the day, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer’s field far away. He would store the grains in his larder with utmost care, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long he would work, without rest, scurrying back and forth from the field.

The grasshopper would look at the ant and laugh. ‘Foolish ant! Why do you work so hard?’ he would ask. ‘Come, rest a while, and listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in toil?’

The ant would ignore his advice, and hurry to the field a little faster. This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. ‘What a silly little ant you are!’ he would say. And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily.

Summer didn’t last for ever. It turned into autumn, and autumn turned into winter. The sun was hardly seen, and the days became short and grey, the nights long and dark. It was freezing cold, and snow began to fall. The grasshopper didn’t feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had no home, and nothing to eat. ‘Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?’ cried the grasshopper.

Suddenly the grasshopper remembered that he could go to the ant. ‘I will ask him for food and shelter,’ he thought. So he went to the ant’s house and knocked at his door. ‘Hello ant!’ he cried cheerfully. ‘Here I am, to sing for you! Get me some food from that larder of yours while I warm myself by your fire!’

The ant looked at the grasshopper with disdain and said, ‘All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. Didn’t you think of winter then? Find somewhere else to sing and dance, grasshopper! I have neither warmth nor food for you.’ And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper’s face.

The wise always set aside something for the rainy day.

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