The Ant and The Cricket Poem Class 8 English | Explanation |

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The Ant and The Cricket Poem Class 8 English | Explanation |

The Ant and The Cricket Poem

A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing

Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring,

Began to complain when he found that, at home,

His cupboard was empty, and winter was come.

Not a crumb to be found

On the snow-covered ground;

Not a flower could he see,

Not a leaf on a tree.

“Oh! what will become,” says the cricket, “of me?”

At last by starvation and famine made bold,

All dripping with wet, and all trembling with cold,

Away he set off to a miserly ant,

To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant

Him shelter from rain,

And a mouthful of grain.

He wished only to borrow;

He’d repay it tomorrow;

If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.

Says the ant to the cricket,

“I’m your servant and friend,

But we ants never borrow;

we ants never lend.

But tell me, dear cricket,

did you lay nothing by

When the weather was warm?”

Quoth the cricket,

“Not I!

My heart was so light

That I sang day and night,

For all nature looked gay.”

“You sang, Sir, you say?

Go then,” says the ant, “and dance the winter away.”

Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket,

And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.

Folks call this a fable. I’ll warrant it true:

Some crickets have four legs, and some have two.

Explanation of The Ant and The Cricket

In the first stanza, the poet has described a cricket. This cricket was young and fun-loving. In the warm months of summer and spring, he used to sing all day long. He was happy in these days and did not worry about how to get food for when it got cold because winter would not come for a while. Winter came without warning, but he had nothing saved for that time of year. He was hungry and did not have anything to eat, not even a small piece of bread. The earth looked like it was covered in snow and he did not see any flowers or leaves on the trees. This made him worried about what would happen to him and he started wondering what would happen next.

The tiny drops of snow made him wet and he had no food. He was cold. So, he went to the ant and asked for help. He said that if the ant didn’t give him food and a house, then the rain would kill him from being so hungry and cold. The man promised that he would repay some of what he got from the ant someday.

The ant said that he thinks of himself as a servant and a friend. But ants do not borrow or lend anything either. The ant wanted to know why he had never thought about saving food for the winter season before.

The cricket told the ant he never thought of the future. He was busy having fun and enjoying himself during the days, but then winter came. The cricket said that he sang songs all day and night. He spent the summer and winter seasons having fun, but now it is time for him to go from his home.

Having heard all that, the ant pushed the cricket out of his home after he spoke. The poet says that this is a story, but it happens in real life. Many people spend their lives like the cricket and do not prepare for their future.

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Summary of The Ant and the Cricket

Working with the poem (Page 23)

Question 1: The cricket says, “Oh! what will become of me?” When does he say it, and why?

Answer: The cricket said, “Oh! what will become of me?” when he found out that it was winter and his cupboard was empty. He could not find any crumbs on the ground or flowers on trees. He wondered if he would die of starvation soon because there was no food to eat.

Question 2: (i) Find in the poem the lines that mean the same as “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” (Shakespeare).

(ii) What is your opinion of the ant’s principles?

Answer:

  1. The line from the poem that means the same as “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” was “But we ants never borrow; we ants never lend.”
  2. From the ant’s principle, We learn that we should save money for the future, so we won’t need to borrow or lend from anyone. Spend more on good things when you have money and use your time wisely.

Question 3: The ant tells the cricket to “dance the winter away”. Do you think the word ‘dance’ is appropriate here? If so, why?

Answer: The ant told the cricket to “dance the winter away”. She meant that he was wasting time and not saving up enough for when it got cold. The cricket was having fun when the sun was still shining. When she said, “dance”, she meant that he should keep doing what he did in summer–singing and dancing–and not ask her for food or shelter when it is cold outside. The word “dance” in this story is used to describe how the cricket acted when it was sunny. But they did not save food for when it was cold.

Question 4:

(i) Which lines in the poem express the poet’s comment? Read them aloud.

(ii) Write the comment in your own words.

Answer:

  1. The lines in the poem that express the poet’s comment are, “Folks call this a fable. I’ll warrant it true”.
  2. The above comment was made by the poet in this poem. It is a fable which has a moral behind it. In this story, the cricket is the one who has carefree nature and believes that he should have fun when the sun is shining. He doesn’t know what will happen during fall or winter so he spends all of his time enjoying himself now. The ant used to work hard during the summer and saved enough food for the winter. The moral of the story is that we should always be ready to work hard and get enough food, or else we will end up like the cricket who didn’t get enough food.

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