The Ant and the Cricket

The Ant and the Cricket – Adapted from Aesop’s fables

A fable is a traditional story that teaches us a moral lesson. Usually the characters in the fables are animals. This poem ‘The Ant and the Cricket’ teaches us the importance of hard work and planning.

Do You Know?

Cricket– a brown or black insect related to the grasshopper but with shorter legs. It is a small insect that produces short, loud sounds by rubbing its wings together.

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 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
But tell me, dear cricket,
Did you lay anything by
When the weather was
warm?” Quoth the cricket,
“Not I!”

My heart was so light
That I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.”
“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.

It Means:

accustomed – பழக்கவழக்கம்
gay – (glad, joyful)
crumb – (piece of bread)
dripping – துளித்துளியாக
trembling – நடுக்கம்
miserly – மோசமான
hastily – (hurriedly)


accustomed to (v) – be used to
gay (adj.) – glad, joyful
crumb (n) – piece of bread
famine (n) – extreme scarcity of food
miserly (adj.) – hesitant to spend money
quoth (v) – said (old English usage, used only in first and third person singular befor the subject)
hastily (adv.) – hurriedly
warrant (v) – guarantee, promise

About the Author

‘Aesop’s fables’ is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and a story teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 B.C.E. These fables became popular when they emerged in print. Several stories are attributed to Aesop even today. The process of inclusion is continuous and new stories are being added. Collections of Aesop’s fables were among the earliest books to be printed in many languages.

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