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English Fable: Ants & The Grasshopper (Semut & Belalang)

Fabel Semut & Belalang (Ants & The Grasshopper), adalah sebuah dongeng binatang yang sarat pelajaran. Cerita tentang seekor belalang yang mentertawakan semut yang bekerja dengan giatnya pada musim panas. Semut-semut itu mengumpulkan bekal makanan untuk musim dingin.

Belalang terus bernyanyi dan bersenang-senang tanpa menyadari musim dingin mulai datang. Namun belalang tidak punya makanan dan tempat tinggal di musim dingin tersebut.

Nah berikut adalah beberapa versi cerita binatang tersebut dalam bahasa Inggris.

Versi 1 – The Ants & Grasshopper

On a cold frosty day in winter, the Ants were dragging out some of the corn which they had laid up in summer-time, so as to air it. The Grasshopper, half-starved with hunger, begged the ants to give him a morsel of it to save his life. “Nay,” said they, “but you should have worked in the summer, and you would not have wanted in winter.”

“Well,” says the Grasshopper, “but I was not idle either, for I sung out the whole season!” “Nay, then,” said the Ants,” you’ll do well to make a merry year of it, and dance in winter to the tune that you sung in summer. “

Versi 2 – The Grasshopper & Ant

A Merry Grasshopper, that sung
And tun’d it all the Summer long,
Fed on small Flies, and had no Reason
To have sad thoughts the gentler Season;

For when ’twas hot the Wind at South,
The Victuals flew into his Mouth:
But when the Winters cold came on,
He found he was as much undone,
As any Insect under Heav’n;

And now the hungry Songster’s driv’n
To such a state, no Man can know it,
But a Musician or a Poet,
He makes a Visit to an Ant,
Desires he would relieve his want;

I come not in a begging way,
Says he, No Sir, name but a day
In July next, and I’ll repay,
Your Interest and your Principal
Shall both be ready at a Call.

The thrifty Ant says truly Neighbour,
I get my Living by hard Labour;

But you, that in this Storm came hither,
What have you done when ’twas fair Weather?

I’ve sung, replies the Grasshopper;
Sung! says the Ant, your Servant, Sir;

If you have sung away the best
Of all the Year, go dance the rest.

Versi 3 – The Ant & The Grasshopper

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “we have got plenty of food at present.”

But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

Then the winter came the Grasshopper had no food, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew


Versi 4 – The Ants and the Grasshoppers

The Ants and the Grasshoppers lived together in the great field. The Ants were busy all the time gathering a store of grain to lay by for winter use. They gave themselves so little pleasure that their merry neighbors, the Grasshoppers, began at last to take scarcely any notice of them.

When the frost came, it put an end to the work of the Ants and the chirping and merrymaking of the Grasshoppers. But one fine winter’s day, when the Ants were employed in spreading their grain in the sun to dry, a Grasshopper, who was nearly perishing with hunger, chanced to pass by.

“Good day to you, kind neighbor,” said she; “will you not lend me a little food? I will certainly pay you before this time next year.”

“How does it happen that you have no food of your own?” asked an old Ant. “There was an abundance in the field where we lived side by side all summer, and your people seemed to be active enough. What were you doing, pray?”

“Oh,” said the Grasshopper, forgetting his hunger, “I sang all the day long, and all the night, too.”

“Well, then,” interrupted the Ant, “I must not deprive my own family for you. If Grasshoppers find it so gay to sing away the summer, they must starve in winter,” and she went on with her work, all the while singing the old song, “We ants never borrow; we ants never lend.”

Versi 5 – The Ants and the Grasshopper

The Ants were employing a fine winter’s day in drying grain collected in the summer time. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him: “Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?” He replied: “I had not leisure; I passed the days in singing.” They then said: “If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter.”

Idleness brings want.

Versi 6 – The Ants & The Grasshopper

One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.

“What!” cried the Ants in surprise, “haven’t you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?”

“I didn’t have time to store up any food,” whined the Grasshopper; “I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone.”

The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.

“Making music, were you?” they cried. “Very well; now dance!” And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.

There’s a time for work and a time for play.


Versi 1 – diambil dari buku “Aesop Fables
Versi 2 – diambil dari buku “Aesop Dress’d Or a collection of Fables” by Bernard Mandeville
Versi 3 – diambil dari buku “Junior Classic
Versi 4 – diambil dari buku “Aesop’s Fables A Version for Young Readers” by J. H. Stickney
Versi 5 – diambil dari buku “Aesop’s Fables
Versi 6 – diambil dari buku “The Æsop for Children With pictures by Milo Winter