Topic: The Ant and the Cicada


The story of The Ant and the Cicada is an Allegory said to be written by Aesop.

The story goes by different names and has different variations. These include: The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Grasshopper and the Ant, The Grasshopper and the Ants, and The Ant and the Dung Beetle.

I actually grew up learning the story as: The Ant and the Grasshopper. And only learned that it was originally about a Cicada and not a Grasshopper until later.

The Story

An English Language version of the story is as follows...

During the summer, the Ant went around the fields collecting grains of wheat and barley so that he could store up some food for the winter.

A Cicada while singing watched the Ant and decided that he must be a wretched creature since he worked all the time, never taking a moment's rest, unlike the other animals. The ant didn't pay attention to the cicada and simply went about his business.

When winter came and the dung was washed away by the rain, the Cicada grew hungry. He went to the Ant and begged him to share a little bit of his food. The ant replied, "O cicada, if you had done some work yourself instead of singing and making fun of me while I was working so hard, then you would not need to be asking me for food."

It is usually understood that the cicada dies from hunger at the end of the story.

The Meaning

The elegance of allegories, like this one, is that they are able to communicate an abstract concept in a way that is not as susceptible to corruption and redefinition as words are.

The meaning I get from this story is to show why it is important to not be lazy, but instead to prepare for your future. To always think about the future and prepare for it. Why it is important to not expect that "good times" will always last, but to prepare for "bad times"; and to prepare for those "bad times" even while your are in "good times".

In Practice

An example of putting the lessons from this story into practice, is to save your money. Save it when you are not making very much. Save it even when you are making alot of money (because you might not be making that much forever.)

Another example of putting this into practice is taking time, during your youth to educate yourself, rather than spending your youth partying and playing. As educating yourself can give you the ability to be able to make more money as you get older.

Another example of putting this into practice is to learn Martial Arts while you are young, so you can protect yourself and those you care about when you need to be able to, when you get older.

(This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of ways to put the lessons from this allegory into practice.)

-- Mirza Charles Iliya Krempeaux