by Aesop (Project Gutenberg, new translation, http://www.gutenberg.org)
One fine day in winter some Ants were busy drying their store of corn, which had got rather damp during a long spell of rain. Presently up came a Grasshopper and begged them to spare her a few grains, “For,” she said, “I’m simply starving.” The Ants stopped work for a moment, though this was against their principles. “May we ask,” said they, “what you were doing with yourself all last summer? Why didn’t you collect a store of food for the winter?” “The fact is,” replied the Grasshopper, “I was so busy singing that I hadn’t the time.” “If you spent the summer singing,” replied the Ants, “you can’t do better than spend the winter dancing.” And they chuckled and went on with their work. _________________________
21st Century Version of the Grasshopper and the Ants (by Victor D. López, fan of ants everywhere and every when).
One fine day in winter some Ants were busy drying their store of corn, which had gotten rather damp during a long spell of rain. Presently up came a Grasshopper and demanded that they give him a fair share of their stores. The Ants stopped work for a moment, though this was against their principles.
“May we ask,” said they, “what you were doing with yourself all last summer? Why didn’t you collect a store of food for the winter?”
“The fact is,” replied the Grasshopper, “I was busy with more important things, like hugging trees, holding hands and singing Cumba Ya with like-minded people. Unfortunately, these activities are not not prized by the stupid elites that unfairly oppress the lower classes and try to exploit them by such means as having them do meaningless, underpaid work that is beneath their dignity for less than a living wage.”
“If you spent the summer singing, holding hands and hugging trees” replied the Ants, “when you should have been planning for the winter and building up your stores to see you and your family through the winter, you can’t do better than spend the winter dancing as well.” And they chuckled and went on with their work.
The grasshopper, who was a very sensitive sort, was deeply offended by the selfishness and intransigence of these wealthy ants who were unwilling to provide their fair share to support the less fortunate members of the community, like himself.
“You did not build the corn you reaped through your avariciousness over the summer while more enlightened people than you were hard at work exploring their sensual and artistic natures. You did not cause it to rain, or the sun to shine, or the bees to pollinate the nascent crops. You simply reaped the benefit of nature’s bounty that belongs to everyone and greedily attempted to keep for yourselves a harvest provided not by your work but by the grace of mother earth. You are thieves, hoarders, and selfish beasts that would keep for yourselves that which nature provides for all of her children in equal measure.” He then stormed off, while the ants again shook their heads, smiled and returned to their work.
Later that day, the grasshopper returned with hoards of like-minded insects seething about the outrage and disrespect shown them by the selfish, cruel, heartless ants. They fell upon the ants beating them senseless, took the greater part of their harvest and burned what they could not take to teach these evil little ants a lesson, all the while chanting:”Yes we can,” “power to the people,” “no justice no peace” and a range of similarly catchy phrases as they beat the selfish ants, liberated their food stores and destroyed what they could not carry away.
It was a great day for grasshoppers who danced into the night around the bonfires of their righteous victory, celebrating the "people's victory" and decrying the heartless counterrevolutionaries.That winter, the ants starved, as did the grasshoppers who had gorged themselves upon the liberated stores of the selfish ants in a few days of round-the-clock partying and soon exhausted them, and could find no succor from the other like-minded free spirits in their village.
As their last act, they gathered, held hands, hugged a tree and sang in unison their final song as they shivered and expired under the blind eyes of nature’s indifference to their plight: “It is all the fault of the stupid ants who brought their destruction upon their heads and on our own through their selfish unwillingness to share their hoarded bounty. Stupid, selfish, egotistical, greedy little ants. All their fault. All their fault. If only they had been as enlightened as we.”
Victor D. López