The Grasshopper and the Ant

The Grasshopper spent all summer long
Performing for friends her festive song.
When winter wind began to bite,
Not one humble morsel was within sight.
No beetle, no fly, no trifling grub;
Just famished, barren bellies for her to rub.

She wailed to the Ant concerning her mess,
Of encountering her cupboards with so much less
Than what her neighbor claimed for storage.
“Perhaps you can spare some of your forage,”
The Grasshopper invoked a meager handout.
“Just enough to outlast this wintry bout.”

The Ant was disinclined to be so charitable
And impart spare food from his bounteous table.
“You chirped all summer from morning to night;
Am I to nourish you in your blight?”
The Ant ordered his neighbor to go her way
And languish through what she brought to bay.

Author’s Note: I wrote this fable into a poem for a book of emergency lesson plans I helped compile with a teacher friend, Michelle Clark several years ago. What was surprising, after testing the lesson plan that accompanied this poem was the discussion students had about personal responsibility vs. charity. It was one of the happy accidents that resulted from this project.

You can get a copy of A Likely Story at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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