If I had children today, I would make them memorize this fable as I had to memorize the French version when I was seven or eight. Scared the hell out of me, fortunately! The Grasshopper and the Ant The Grasshopper having sung All the summer long, Found herself lacking food When the North Wind began its song. Not a single little piece Of fly or grub did she have to eat. She went complaining of hunger To the Ant's home, her neighbour, Begging there for a loan Of some grain to keep herself alive Til the next season did arrive, "I shall pay you," she said "Before next August, on my word as an animal. I'll pay both interest and pricipal." The Ant was not so inclined: this not being one of her faults. "What did you do all summer? Said she to the grasshopper. "Night and day I sang, I hope that does not displease you." "You sang? I will not look askance. But now my neighbour it's time to dance." ========================================== La Cigale et la Fourmi La Cigale, ayant chanté Tout l'été, Se trouva fort dépourvue Quand la bise fut venue : Pas un seul petit morceau De mouche ou de vermisseau. Elle alla crier famine Chez la Fourmi sa voisine, La priant de lui prêter Quelque grain pour subsister Jusqu'à la saison nouvelle. "Je vous paierai, lui dit-elle, Avant l'Oût, foi d'animal, Intérêt et principal. " La Fourmi n'est pas prêteuse : C'est là son moindre défaut. Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud ? Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse. - Nuit et jour à tout venant Je chantais, ne vous déplaise. - Vous chantiez ? j'en suis fort aise. Eh bien! dansez maintenant. The French version is the original. The English translation is by Michael Star. It's good except that "cigale" means "cicada," not "grasshopper." Translator seems to have reverted to the original Aesop on this word rather than follow La Fontaine's version.