Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am a grasshopper

Ever since I heard the Ant and Grasshopper story when I was young, I have harboured a silent resentment towards ants, red ones in particular. The black ants are okay - I can tolerate them, in fact I enjoy watching them. But the red ones? They are the worst what with the added sting in their bites. Have you ever noticed the difference in behavior between the black and red ants? The red ants seem to be more studious, more committed and more boring while the black ones are interesting- they never look to be going in a single pile, all of them take initiatives and go off in different directions, and they even climb over humans to look for food. Their audacity, their quick movements and their adventurous spirit, and their "never hurt anyone" attitude endears them to me. But that's besides the point. Which is ants in general and the way they were compared to grasshoppers in the aforementioned story.

They (the elders!) shook their fingers in the kids' faces warning them - Do you want to be a grasshopper which died of starvation once winter came or do you want to be the ant which was wise enough to save for the rainy day? If my vocabulary and worldly knowledge was what it is today, I would have probably shown them the middle finger.

I could never understand why anyone would want to work and work and work and save and save and save for a winter that is a long time away?! Why not enjoy life now and then? We will worry about the winter when we come to it. So what if we die of starvation? At least we danced under the sun and sang to the wind.

So continuing from my previous post, I discovered few years ago that I can not be an ant however much I try. I would rather enjoy the now and then than work like crazy for a winter far away. I would rather be alone than have a queen ant presiding over me. I would rather break the line than follow some invisible scent and trodden path! I would rather be a grasshopper than an ant. So there!

PS: BTW, did you know that the average lifespan of a grasshopper is just 4-5 months in the summer? They can't live to see winter even if they want. So whoever wrote or came up with that story needs a lesson in biology!!

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