A fable is a story, often with animals as characters, that conveys a moral. This poem about an ant and a cricket contains an idea of far-reaching significance, which is as true of a four-legged cricket as of a ‘two-legged one’. Surely, you have seen a cricket that has two legs!
A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing
Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring,
Began to complain when he found that, at home,
His cupboard was empty, and winter was come.
Not a crumb to be found
On the snow-covered ground;
Not a flower could he see,
Not a leaf on a tree.
“Oh! what will become,” says the cricket, “of me?”
At last by starvation and famine made bold,
All dripping with wet, and all trembling with cold,
Away he set off to a miserly ant,
To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant
Him shelter from rain,
And a mouthful of grain.
He wished only to borrow;
He’d repay it tomorrow;
If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.
Says the ant to the cricket,
“I’m your servant and friend,
But we ants never borrow;
we ants never lend.
But tell me, dear cricket,
did you lay nothing by When the weather was
warm?” Quoth the cricket,
My heart was so light
That I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.”
“You sang, Sir, you say?
Go then,” says the ant, “and dance the winter away.”
Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket,
And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.
Folks call this a fable. I’ll warrant it true:
Some crickets have four legs, and some have two.
adapted from Aesop’s Fables