The Gifted Ant


The Gifted Ant is published in Herford's collection, Artful Antics (1902).
The Gifted Ant
Oliver Herford, The Gifted Ant

A gifted ant, who could no more
Than keep starvation from her door,
Once cast about that she might find
An occupation to her mind.

An ant with active hands and feet
Can, as a rule, make both ends meet.
Unhappily, this was not quite
The case with her of whom I write.

“Since I am gifted,” she’d explain,
“I ought to exercise my brain.
The only thing for me, it’s clear,
Is a professional career!”

But no profession could she find,
Until one day there crossed her mind
The proverb bidding sluggards gaze
Upon the ant to learn her ways.

“The very thing!” she cried. “Hurray!
I’ll advertise without delay.
Things are come to a pretty pass,
If I can’t teach a sluggard class!”

She set to work without delay,
And wrote some cards that very day;
And hung them in the grass—a plan
To catch the sluggard’s eye. They ran
As follows:

"Sluggards who desire
An education to acquire
Will find it well to call to-day
Upon Professor Ant, B. A.
Her Sluggard Class, she begs to state,
Reopens at an early date
With several vacancies—a chance
Terms—In Advance."




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