This fable represents the virtues of hard work and planning for the future. Numbered 373 in the Perry Index (as 373. The Cicada and the Ant), it is also popular as 'The Grasshopper and the Ants'. This fable's popularity is evident as it is found in a large number of medieval sources. However, it should not be confused with variant fables numbered 112 and 166 in the Perry Index.

One autumn day, a grasshopper was frolicking around.
The Ant and the Grasshopper
All summer, the grasshopper did nothing but fiddle on his fiddle, and sing and play. And he watched a family of ants bustling about under the warm sun - collecting grain, carrying them from far and wide, and drying them under the sun.
All the ants ever did, was work hard! This disgusted the grasshopper.
"Come, play with me", he called out to the ants, "Come and listen to the music I am composing!"
"Haven't time. Haven't time", the ants would shout back, "We have to work, and store as much grain as possible!"
Disgusted, that they were overworking themselves, he sang and played alone. And watched them work together, from a distance.
The Ant and the Grasshopper
As summer elapsed, and autumn began, the ants started working even harder.
Their lifestyle vexed the grasshopper, because they never played or did anything other than work!
"What is the purpose of all the hard work, if you cannot enjoy your life?", he asked one of the ants whom he had befriended, "Besides, what is the point of storing so much food, when there is plenty of food around? Why not come and play, instead?"
"There is a time for work, and a time for play. It is the time to work now", the ant replied, "The winter will soon set, and we have to make sure we have lots of foodgrain stocked to survive the entire winter. Only then, can we take some rest."
"What about winter?", the grasshopper wondered aloud, "I will worry about winter, when winter comes. And, I will survive winter, as I have survived the summer!"
The Ant and the Grasshopper
The grasshopper continued with his carefree life, even as he watched the ants work hard. And it was soon winter!
The cold winds began blowing, and it started snowing. As snow covered all places, food became scarce.
"I was so busy making music and playing around, and the summer was gone, even before I knew it", the grasshopper thought to himself, "I have neither food stocked for myself, nor do I have a shelter to save myself from the cold."
Now, he was hungry, but there was no food anywhere. All that was there, was snow and snow - all around.
He struggled through the cold winds and the snow, to see what the ants were doing.

The Ant and the Grasshopper
As he approached the ant-hill, he could hear lots of noise buzzing inside. He peeked from one of the windows to see what the ants were doing inside.
Inside the ant-hill, it was visibly warm. He could see the merry ants dancing around and feasting on the food that they had worked so hard to collect all summer.
And the ants, who were always worried about their work back then, were in no hurry now. Relaxed, they joked and made merry with each other.
The grasshopper, on the other hand, was shivering outside the ant-hill. As he walked away, he told himself, "Now I know why the ants worked so hard. I had all the fun in the summer, but it is no fun now!"
Be Prepared for the foreseeable future.
There is a time for work, and a time for play.
A grasshopper enjoyed his summer by lazing around, singing and playing, and watching a group of ants working very hard. When he tried to convince an ant that he should play along, the ant advised against - because they should collect food for the winter, which will soon come. The grasshopper was not convinced and continued with his playful life, while criticising the ants for overworking themselves. Soon, the winter came, and so came snowfall - covering all places with snow. Unable to find either food or shelter, the grasshopper watched how the ants were enjoying their winter inside the warmth of their anthill, with lots of food stocked-up to last the winter.
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