Cicadas in literature

Do you know the writer Jean de Lafontaine? Born in France in 1621, he is famous for his fables in which he uses animals with human traits to criticize mankind. One of his works features a cicada and an ant.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Grasshopper, singing
All summer long,
Now found winter stinging,
And ceased in his song.
Not a morsel or crumb in his cupboard–
So he shivered, and ceased in his song.
Miss Ant was his neighbor;
To her he went:
“O, you’re rich from labor,
And I’ve not a cent.
Lend me food, and I vow I’ll return it,
Though at present I have not a cent.”
The Ant’s not a lender,
I must confess.
Her heart’s far from tender
To one in distress.
So she said: “Pray, how passed you the summer,
That in winter you come to distress?”
“I sang through the summer,”
Grasshopper said.
“But now I am glummer
Because I’ve no bread.”
“So you sang!” sneered the Ant. “That relieves me.
Now it’s winter–go dance for your bread!”

Jean deLaFontaine

To provide the most relevant experience this website uses cookies. By clicking on “I accept”, you consent to the use of all cookies. Details