Dialogue 7: Laziness and Hardwork

Storyteller: Ifochakpi!

Audience: Waa!!

Storyteller: Good evening, my friends! Today we will consider two characters.

I wrote about this short rhyme for kids and teens. It came back to me when I remembered the story I read as a school kid—the tale of lazy hoppers and busy ants. The ants were seen as losers because they had no time for fun, for frivolities. Indeed, the ant clan spent most of their time gathering food for the coming winter while their garrulous neighbours threw parties day and night. Soon the cold winter arrived, and with it, a drought of grains and leaves. The hoppers came to beg for food, but the ants won’t share as they understood that the stored seeds would barely last for the winter.

In the folklore, grasshoppers and their cousins, locusts and crickets are indeed a loquacious clan. They prefer pleasure and playing over work. They live for the day and make no plans for the future. In real life, these insects swarm to destroy farmlands. This act is an obvious example of harvesting another person’s labour.

On the other hand, ants are disciplined, organised and industrious insects. They plan for the future by stocking grain and seeds. They only take as much as needed for the day and do not waste time doing anything.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a lesson we can pick from the two. I hope. Good night.


Audience: Oyoo!!

Play or Labour

Play green locust, hop
Take a swerve, make a loop
Watch days turn into dismal years

Labour brown ant, toil
Morn and noon dig the soil,
Gather seeds before bitter winter