Monday, November 10, 2008

Ants and Grasshoppers

All fall, a childhood story has been following me.
I can picture the illustrations and remember just the gist of the plot.
The Ant is a hard worker.
Toils from sun-up to night.
preparing for the coming winter.

He meets the tall and happy Grasshopper.
Who’s got a guitar in two arms and a marimba in another..
He wears a little vest and maybe – shades
playing for friends beneath a flower.

The ant warns him of the coming winter.
The grasshopper composes a song about it.

When they meet again the weather has changed
leaves blow in the wind and again the ant warns his friend.
But he’s working on his dance steps - says he did store something away but he’s forgotten where now.

Then I picture a snow covered and shivering grasshopper
at the door of the ant
but I’ve forgotten how it ends...

How do you suppose the story ends?
-you fill in the saying that comes to mind here-

Who told your childhood stories?
Who wrote your history?
They say that history is written by the victors
or at least the survivors.

Were your teachers
ants or grasshoppers?

Were your preachers
ants or grasshoppers?

In the bible
there are stories told by ants.
Great warning stories,
with tough endings that leave lasting impressions.

But Jesus never wrote down any stories did he?
His words were written on the wind
and struck chords inside of people’s hearts and bowels
and even if they couldn’t remember the words
they carried away the tune and rhythm.

Outside of shut doors the winds still carry
his songs of sacrifice
urging us to invite even death to sing at our ant tables
songsters both happy and sad
for ants do not live by bread alone.


corrie said...

Hi Allan, I know how I want the story to end, but that is not always the case. Yes, it reminds me too of Matthew's scripture, the virgins and their lamps. at this point of writing my mindset is a little different than usual, but I can understand both, the grasshopper and the ant, I hope all ends well.

Rumsby Family said...

Why is it that the artist is always asking for a handout? Perhaps the ant should come to the grasshopper saying, "I've worked hard and saved more food than I need, but there is an emptiness deep inside me. If you will sing and dance for me I will share my food with you."

Al, thanks for being a grasshopper.