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The Grass Hopper and the Ant

Many years ago, there lived a Grass hopper in a meadow filled with sweet grass.  The locust had reached there by chance.  A few weeks earlier, a fierce storm had blown across the forest.  Many small insects were dislodged from their places on the trees and were helplessly carried by the wind.  When the wind subsided, they found themselves in very different locations at considerable distances.

The locust was one of these insects.  The locust spent the next few days gorging on the soft grass.  He was very happy.  He had fallen on the right place.  He no longer had to fly large distances and hop from tree to tree in search of good.  Here was food, ready and tasty and he had fallen right on top of it.  Every day, he would do nothing else than eat sumptuously and sleep for many hours.  He did not think of the future.  Today was heaven and he would enjoy it to the utmost.

The grass hopper spent his days lazing in the meadow.  Near the meadow was an anthill.  The anthill was home to hundreds of ants. The ants spent their day at a hectic pace. They would frenetically move from one place to another constantly doing something.  Some of the ants would scour out to find food, while others would carry loads of food many times their own weight on their back.  Still some others would be busy cleaning the anthill and removing dirt and waste.    The ants were never at rest.  The whole anthill was the scene of eternal action.

The Grass Hopper looked at the ants with disdain.  “Crazy Creatures”, he thought, “Why don’t they learn to take life easy and enjoy it?”  The Grass hopper did not think about the future at all.  He believed in living each day as it comes.  Besides, he was also lazy.

Chintu was an ant in the colony in the anthill.  He observed the grass hopper for many days.
The grasshopper went about his day routine of eating and sleeping.   The ant, Chintu went up to the grasshopper one day. He said, "Brother Grasshopper, I have been observing you for many days. You seep to be enjoying life. I am happy to see you in such a jolly and carefree mood."

The grasshopper was pleased at what the ant said. ''At least, somebody appreciates my philosophy of life", he thought.  The ant then said," It is good to enjoy life. But it is also necessary to plan for the future. The grasshopper gave a puzzled look.  The good ant continued, “A few months from now the weather will change. The temperature will fall."  "The forest which is so vivid with the colours of spring will be covered with the somber shades of winter.  The ground will be covered with Snow. There will be no food."  The grasshopper looked worried. He had never thought about these things.
The ant then said, "We, ants work hard during the months of plenty so that we can store food for the winter months.  You, too, should do the same so that you will have food in the winter."

The grasshopper felt very bad on hearing this.  He had never thought about winter and food.   "I will work hard from tomorrow”, he told himself.   The next day, the grasshopper woke late in the morning.  He stretched himself.  He thought about the resolution he had made yesterday to work hard.  But he was too overcome by sloth.  “I will work hard from tomorrow onwards”, he told himself.    He nibbled on a few new leaves and went back to rest.

The ants meanwhile slogged through the days of spring and summer.  Autumn came and then winter.  It began to snow.  The grasshopper had till then managed to live on the few plants that remained in the ground.  But with winter coming in full form, the little vegetation that remained wilted away.  The grasshopper did not have anything to eat.  The ground was frozen.  The wind blew cold and hard.  All the other animals had gone to hibernation in their burrows.  The ants which had worked hard during the summer months had gone underground.  There they kept close together to keep warm.  They also had their reserves of food they had worked so hard to gather.

The grass hopper now realized his mistake.  He cursed himself for being lazy.  How he wished he had listened to the ant’s advice.  But now it was too late.  It became colder and colder as the winter days progressed.  The grass hopper could not find anything to eat.   In a few days, the grass hopper was dead.

Children, this story tells us to work hard. We need to plan for the future, no matter how comfortable we may be today.  Times keep changing and we need to prepare and save for adverse times.


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