Gateway to the Classics: The Golden Ladder Book by E. Hershey Sneath
The Golden Ladder Book by  E. Hershey Sneath

The Ant and the Cricket

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," said 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,

A mouthful of grain;

He wished only to borrow;

He'd repay it to-morrow;

If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.

Said the ant to the cricket, "I'm your servant and friend,

But we ants never borrow, we ants never lend;

But tell me, dear sir, did you lay nothing by

When the weather was warm?" Said the cricket, "Not I.

My heart was so light

That I sang day and night,

For all nature looked gay."

"You sang, sir, you say?

Go, then," said the ant, "and dance winter away."

Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket

And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.

Though this is a fable, the moral is good:

If you live without work, you must live without food.

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