Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Connects Us: A Program on Living in Unitarian Universalist Covenant for Grades 4-5

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Adapted from an Aesop's fable.

One summer's day, a Grasshopper was hopping about in a field, chirping and singing to his heart's content. Hard-Working Ant passed by, struggling with the weight of a kernel of corn she was taking to the nest. "Why not come and sing with me?" said Grasshopper. "You are working much too hard."

"I am helping to store food for the winter," said Hard-Working Ant. "You should be doing this too, since there won't be anything to eat once it gets cold and the snow falls."

"Why worry about winter?" said Grasshopper. "There is plenty of food around here!" Hard-Working Ant shook her head and continued on her way carrying the heavy kernel of corn.

Day after day, Hard-Working Ant trudged back and forth from the cornfield to the ant nest, struggling to carry kernel after kernel to store for the winter.

Day after day, Grasshopper danced merrily across the fields, teasing Hard-Working Ant.

"Forget about work! Listen up! Enjoy the summer!" Grasshopper sang.

When the cold winds of winter began to blow and the puffy flakes of snow began to fall, food did indeed become very scarce. Grasshopper soon found himself hungry and cold. But the ants were toasty warm, sharing all the food they had collected during the summer.

Poor Grasshopper came one day to the door of the ants' house, shivering so badly he could hardly knock. Welcoming Ant answered the door and looked at poor, hungry Grasshopper. "Please," Grasshopper begged. "It is so cold out here and I am starving. There is no food anymore."

Welcoming Ant stepped aside to let Grasshopper in, but another ant stepped forward. It was Hard-Working Ant who had watched Grasshopper sing and dance all summer while she worked hard to gather food. "Don't let him in," Hard-Working Ant protested. "He wasted his summer singing and dancing while we worked hard to store our food. He does not deserve to reap the benefits of our hard work."

Welcoming Ant, the one who had been about to let Grasshopper in, shook his head. "That may be so," said Welcoming Ant. "But we cannot allow him to starve. He is a creature like us. Just because he made a foolish choice, it does not mean we can condemn him to death." Welcoming Ant waved one of his six arms and invited Grasshopper inside.

Grasshopper eagerly walked into the ants' house and sat right down at the table filled with food. He stuffed himself until he was full, while Hard-Working Ant stared resentfully at him. Then Grasshopper pushed himself away from the table and began to sing. It was a catchy tune, a happy one and soon all the ants found themselves laughing and dancing, even Hard-Working Ant.

And all through that cold, long winter, the ants shared with Grasshopper their food, and Grasshopper shared with them his songs and his joy. They all had a wonderful time together—even Hard-Working Ant. She had to admit the winter time was more pleasant with Grasshopper and his songs around.