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 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.
Says 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.