The Ant and the Grasshopper (a revised fable)

Once upon a time there was an industrious and conscientious little ant carrying a heavy load of food across the forest floor. The ant happened to pass a grasshopper that was well fed and relaxing under the shade of a toadstool.

“Why are you working so hard?” asked the amused grasshopper.

“I am getting ready for the winter,” replied the struggling ant. “You would be wise to get off your lazy butt and prepare for the harsh months ahead.”

The grasshopper laughed. “I have prepared,” he smugly returned. “I voted for social change in the fall elections. The government will protect me now.”

The ant was so focused on his strenuous task he barely took the grasshopper’s words seriously and moved on.

As the winds of winter began to sweep across the forest the ant was living safely among his many ant friends in their protected tunnels, many of which served to store food for the anticipated long cold months.

Suddenly there was a commotion at the main entrance to the ant colony. The little ant went to investigate and recognized the grasshopper he had met a month or two before.

“What are you doing here?” asked the surprised ant.

“I am hungry and have come to claim my share of the food,” said the grasshopper with a tone of confidence and righteousness.

“Bug off,” said the ant.

Suddenly, two other insects appeared from behind the grasshopper. One was a government official—a leech. And the other was a religious figure—a praying mantis.

The leech spoke first. “The government has now changed completely over to a socialistic system. I am here to oversee the redistribution of wealth that has become the new law of the forest. You must feed your insect brother, the grasshopper.”

The ant hardly had time to complain when the praying mantis came forward next to speak. “It is the morally correct thing to do,” said the pious mantis with devoutly folded hands. “Have you not read in the Scriptures that we are to love our neighbors?”

The ant could not believe what he was hearing and, pointing to the grasshopper, he angrily blurted out, “that grasshopper is a hedonist and a lazy bum!”

“That’s hate speech,” said the leech and mantis.

“But I even offered the grasshopper smart advice—that he ought to prepare for the future,” exclaimed the ant in defense of his actions.

“That’s a racist statement,” said a third insect, a scorpion that had been standing within earshot. The scorpion came forward, then gave the ant his business card, which identified him as a lawyer in a very big firm.

“Why am I racist?” asked the perplexed ant.

“You are discriminating against the grasshopper because of his culture and species. As an ant your education is prejudiced against my client’s upbringing and life experiences. We now live in a world that values the richness of diversity.” Then the scorpion delivered a stinging warning. “Therefore, if you do not share with my client the same privileges that you enjoy, I am prepared to take you to court and sue your hind segment!”

The ant, fearing that to do otherwise would ruin his standing and reputation within the insect community, caved to the pressure and invited the other insects to come in and share the harvest of his toils. Besides, the little ant certainly did not want to see any insect suffer.

The insect world could now look to a social utopian future. But a great dark cloud was quickly coming over the horizon. It was a swarm of hungry locusts seeking social justice.

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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