Jean de La Fontaine

July 8, 1621 - April 13, 1695


The Grasshopper And The Ant

by Jean de La Fontaine

A grasshopper gay
Sang the summer away,
And found herself poor
By the winter's first roar.
Of meat or of bread,
Not a morsel she had!
So a begging she went,
To her neighbour the ant,
For the loan of some wheat,
Which would serve her to eat,
Till the season came round.
I will pay you, she saith,
On an animal's faith,
Double weight in the pound
Ere the harvest be bound.

The ant is a friend
(And here she might mend)
Little giver to lend.
How spent you the summer?
Quoth she, looking shame
At the borrowing dame.
Night and day to each comer
I sang, if you please.

You sang! I 'm at ease;
For 't is plain at a glance,
Now, ma'am, you must dance.

See also:
The Ants and the Grasshopper by Aesop


The Fables of La Fontaine
Copyright 1881
Translator: Elizur Wright, Jr.
H. M. Caldwell Co., Publishers
New York and Boston