The Ant And The Grasshopper – Aesop Knew The Long Road

by Sherry Riter in Change,Choice,Happiness,Lessons of Life,preparation,Self-Development  

The Ant And The Grasshopper

Every day upon awakening, you have a a conscious or unconscious plan. Even if you don’t have an “official” plan, you still have a plan because not having a plan IS still a plan. An ancient Proverb states that, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail,” but is that true?

The Ant And The Grasshopper

I’m guessing that it might have been awhile since you’ve read the fable by Aesop called The Ant And The Grasshopper, so let me help refresh your memory…

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. When 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: “It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Aesop Knew The Long Road

Aesop Knew The Long Road

I’ve often heard that planning takes all the spontaneity out of living. Personally, I think that is just rubbish. Aesop would probably say that statement was a foolish man’s way of thinking and living. Maybe you can’t relate to The Ant And The Grasshopper because you aren’t an insect, so let me help you out.

Did you go to high school, technical school or college?

Do you set the alarm on a clock so that you wake up at a certain time each day?

Do you take food out of the freezer to unthaw while you are working, so that you can prepare it for dinner?

Do you write a grocery list?

Do you keep track of the date and/or mileage of your last oil change?

Do you calculate your bank balance regularly?

Have you already set the dates of your next vacation?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you planned. The reason you plan is so that life will go more smoothly and be happy. Planning brings about peace because it circumvents chaos.

The grasshopper just wanted to play all day – THAT was his plan. He took no thought of what might happen tomorrow. I think the grasshopper was very selfish. He had lived long enough to know that winter would come and that food he was going to need some food. The grasshopper, though subconsciously, was banking on getting handouts from the ant who worked steadily through the summer to ensure that winter would not create a hardship in his life.

HOWEVER – surely you knew there was a catch – if a flood or tornado had whipped through the ant’s storehouse, he would have lost all the fruits from his summer labors. Therefore, he would not have been prepared for the winter either. That’s where Plan B comes into action.

In order to be successful on the long road of life, we have to be flexible with our plans, goals and dreams. Change and other people’s right to choose will affect our lives both positively and negatively. You need to have Plan A and Plan B, C, D and maybe even Plan F! Being prepared is essential to enjoying a peaceful, happy and successful life.

Aesop understood the importance of working towards a goal according to the plan. The prepared ant was warm and fed while the grasshopper was cold and hungry.

Now you might be thinking that sometimes our plans don’t work out even though we work hard to be successful. Well, after the tornado takes your dreams up into a cloud with it, go ahead and cry, but then dry your eyes and keep planning, dreaming and trying. That’s where a prepared AND compassionate ant comes into the story. If you have done everything you can do and bad times or poor choice consequences happen, people who love you should step in to help. That’s what love is all about – right?

(Of course, you know I’m not talking about people who just use you on purpose over and over again.)

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan,
in which we must fervently believe,
and upon which we must vigorously act.
There is no other route to success.
~ Pablo Picasso ~


The Ant

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa May 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

Interesting, I only answered yes to 2 questions, it seems as I get older the less planning I do. Is that common? I used to answer yes to all of those. I still love having plan B, C and D too. Interesting analogy today.


2 The Redhead Riter May 15, 2012 at 6:53 am


I think often as we get older, we also get more relaxed with life because we realize we don’t control it all!


3 Susanne May 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

Woo hoo. Finally a well laid out fable for today’s society. My Plan F or is it J…lol… is in motion. Now could you please, very anonymously, send this to my sister?! She too needs a Plan F, however a serious reality check is in order. Just how much is she willing to accept, before she gets it together? We, the family members are now charged with a lack of compassion and understanding. Just how long can the grasshopper expect to keep that hand out? Your fable has hit the nail on the head in my world and that of my family’s. Must run…Resume Critique class. Have a great day!


4 The Redhead Riter May 15, 2012 at 7:46 am


Hmmmm…That’s a tough question! It is so hard to have tough love when warranted. Other times, the person just makes the wrong choices over and over because they didn’t have all the facts. It really is tough to know when to say, “No more.” I think when it has to do with drugs and alcohol, the line is easier to draw. When it is just poor choices with jobs, love life, etc., well, it is all just a learning process. Good luck with your sister. Eventually…EVENTUALLY she will learn and make better choices. Loving her is the best thing you can do!


5 Skip_D May 15, 2012 at 7:47 am

I love Aesop & his critters! Fables have lots of wisdom, but some people ignore them – even laugh at them! They’re the worst kind of grasshoppers.

Great ant photos. I guess the grasshopper was off fooling around & missed the appointment for his close up! 😉


6 The Redhead Riter May 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

LOL Skip!!! Yeah, there were no grasshoppers to be found!!! LMBO!!!


7 NancyTeaches May 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

I have always read Aesop’s Fables to my students and they love them. I haven’t thought about the Ant and the Grasshopper in awhile. I answered yes to all of the questions. I am a compulsive planner, but what makes me different is that I am also a risk taker. I will throw all caution to the wind and best laid plans out and try something new that wasn’t planned at all. I guess that’s what makes life more interesting… contradictions. Also, I raised one compulsive list maker/planner and one who wouldn’t recognize a list if it hit him over the head. Makes you wonder…

Great post! NancyTeaches


8 The Redhead Riter May 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

LOL Nancy! I love the description of your children!!! My daughter makes lists of everything all the time. Sometimes she is a bit extreme, in my opinion. However, I’m sure it is my fault, so I say nothing about it to her. LOL


9 Alaina May 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I answered yes to about 75% of those questions…definitely a planner here! But not a flexible planner More so than my husband though…it’s definitely tough for both of us


10 The Redhead Riter May 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm


“Flexible planner” is really a great description! That’s me…I’m a flexible planner. It really reduces the stresses of HAVING to accomplish everything RIGHT ON TIME. I don’t like setting myself up for failure and RIGHT ON TIME became my weakness a couple years ago. Obviously I’m not perfect. LOL LOL LOL LOL


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