The Impecunious Cricket and the Frugal Ant

by


The Impecunious Cricket and the Frugal Ant is a parody told in rhyme, based on Aesop's Fable, The Grasshopper and the Ant. Carryl published this poem in Fables for the Frivolous (1898), illustrated by Peter Newell. "Impecunious" means having little or no money.
There was an ant, a spinster ant,
    Whose virtues were so many
  That she became intolerant
    Of those who hadn't any:
  She had a small and frugal mind
    And lived a life ascetic,
  Nor was her temperament the kind
    That's known as sympathetic.

Aesop's The Grasshopper and the Ant
  I skip details. Suffice to say
    That, knocking at her wicket,
  There chanced to come one autumn day
    A common garden cricket
  So ragged, poor, and needy that,
    Without elucidation,
  One saw the symptoms of a bat
    Of several months' duration.

  He paused beside her door-step, and,
    With one pathetic gesture,
  He called attention with his hand
    To both his shoes and vesture.
  "I joined," said he, "an opera troupe.
    They suddenly disbanded,
  And left me on the hostel stoop,
    Lugubriously stranded.

  "I therefore lay aside my pride
    And frankly ask for clothing."
  "Begone!" the frugal ant replied.
    "I look on you with loathing.
  Your muddy shoes have spoiled the lawn,
    Your hands have soiled the fence, too.
  If you need money, go and pawn
    Your watch--if you have sense to."

  THE MORAL is: Albeit lots
  Of people follow Dr. Watts,
  The sluggard, when his means are scant,
  Should seek an uncle, not an ant!

Enjoy more Aesop's Fables and our collection of Children's Stories.


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Return to the Guy Wetmore Carryl Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Impetuous Breeze and the Diplomatic Sun

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