English : Unit 4 : Poem : The Ant and the Cricket
accustomed to (v) – be used to
gay (adj.) – glad, joyful
crumb (n) – piece of bread
famine (n) – extreme scarcity of food
miserly (adj.) – hesitant to spend money
quoth (v) – said (old English usage, usedonly in first and third person singular befor the subject)
hastily (adv.) – hurriedly
warrant (v) – guarantee, promise
A. Based on your understanding of the poem, read the following lines and answer the questions given below.
1. A silly young cricket accustomed to sing
Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring.
a) What was the routine of the cricket?
The cricket enjoyed singing in the warm weather of the spring and summer. This was the routine of the cricket.
b) Name the seasons mentioned here.
Spring and Summer are the seasons mentioned here.
2. Began to complain when he found that, at home,
His cupboard was empty, and winter was come.
a) Who does he refer to?
‘He’ refers to the cricket.
b) Why was his cupboard empty?
Because the cricket did not save any food or grains for the winter.
3. Not a crumb to be found
On the snow-covered ground;
a) What couldn’t he find on the ground?
He couldn’t find any trace of food or grains on the ground.
b) Why was the ground covered with snow?
It was winter season.
4. At last by starvation and famine made bold,
All dripping with wet, and all trembling with cold,
a) What made the cricket bold?
Starvation and famine made the cricket bold.
b) Why did the cricket drip and tremble?
Because the weather was wet and cold.
5. Away he set off to a miserly ant,
To keep if, to keep him alive, he would grant
Him shelter from rain,
And a mouthful of grain.
a) Whom did the cricket want to meet? Why?
The cricket wanted to meet a miserly ant to borrow food or grains from it.
b) What would keep him alive?
Grains and shelter from the ant would keep him alive.
6. But we ants never borrow;
we ants never lend.
a) Why do you think ants neither borrow nor lend?
Ants work hard and always plan for the future and so ants neither borrow nor lend.
b) Who says these lines to whom?
The ant says these lines to the cricket.
7. ‘‘ Not I!
My heart was so light
That I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.”
a) Who does ‘I’ refer to?
T refers to the cricket.
b) What was the nature of the cricket? How do you know?
The nature of the cricket was to enjoy dancing and singing. We know this from its reply to the ant’s questions.
8. Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket,
And out of the door turned the poor little cricket,
a) The ant refused to help the cricket. Why?
Because the ant could not tolerate the laziness of the cricket.
b) Explain the second line.
The ant stopped talking and closed its small gate hurriedly.
9. He wished only to borrow;
He’d repay it tomorrow;
a) Pick out the rhyming words in the above lines.
Rhyming words: borrow – tomorrow
b) Give more examples of rhyming words from the poem.
sing – spring,
see – tree,
rain – grain,
friend – lend,
home – come,
found – ground
bold – cold,
ant – grant
borrow – tomorrow- sorrow
light – night,
gay – say
10. My heart was so light
that I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.
“You sang , Sir , you say”?
a) Mention the rhyme scheme employed in the above lines.
Rhyme scheme: a a b b b
B. Based on your understanding of the poem, complete the summary using the phrases given below .
In this narrative poem, the poet brings out the idea that is essential for every creature. He conveys this message to the readers through a story of an ant and a cricket. The ant spends all its summer saving for the future. The cricket sings and dances happily in the summer. He doesn’t save anything for the winter. When winter comes, he is worried that his kitchen cupboard is empty. So, he seeks the help of the ant to have some grains and a warm place to stay. The cricket was even prepared to repay it in the future. The ant made it clear that ants never borrow or lend. He also enquired the cricket if it had saved anything when the weather was fine. The cricket answered that it had sung day and night enjoying the pleasant nature. The ant threw the cricket out and stated in a stern voice it should dance in the winter season too. In his concluding lines, the poet affirms that this is not just a fable but it is true and applicable to human beings also.
(the pleasant nature, human beings, doesn’t save, warm place, kitchen cupboard, just a fable, saving for future, some grains, never borrow or lend, an ant and a cricket, sings and dances)
C. Answer each of the following questions in a paragraph of 120-150 words.
1. ‘Some crickets have four legs and some have two’. Elucidate this statement from the poet’s point of view.
Poem : THE ANT AND THE CRICKET
Poet : Adapted from Aesop’s fables
Theme: ‘Some crickets have four legs and some have two’
Outline : Narrative poem – hard work and planning – four-legged cricket – enjoyed – good times – two-legged crickets – human beings – not only enjoy – but also work hard
In this narrative poem, the poet brings out the idea of hard work and pre-planning that is essential for every creature. ‘Some crickets have four legs and some have two ’ is the last line of the poem that serves the moral to the readers. According to the poet, the four-legged cricket enjoyed the good times but never planned for the tough times of life. Like the merry cricket, some of the human beings enjoy their good times. They never plan and save anything for their future. The poet indicates that there are some two-legged crickets which are human beings. He wants such people to work hard and plan for their future. According to the poet, we all must accomplish what we are assigned to in our life. Further, he says we are born not only to enjoy the present happy moments but also to work hard for the happy future.
WORK HARD TODAY, GET BENEFITS TOMORROW
2. Compare and contrast the attitude of the ant and the cricket.
Poem : THE ANT AND THE CRICKET
Poet : Adapted from Aesop’s fables
Theme: Ant vs Cricket
Outline : Narrative poem – the cricket – young and silly – enjoyed – singing – the ant – wise, hardworking
In this narrative poem, the poet brings out the idea of hard work and pre-planning that is essential for every creature. The poem is about a hardworking ant and a careless cricket. According to the poet, the cricket was young and silly. It enjoyed singing all summer and spring not worrying about the future. The arit, on the other hand, was a wise and hardworking creature working for its future. The poet projects the cricket as a borrower whereas the ant, neither a borrower nor a lender. However, the attitude of the ant in the last stanza is quite disappointing because the ant told the cricket angrily and sarcastically to go away and dance in the winter. Through this poem, the poet warns us not be like the cricket in this poem and he advises us to work hard and plan for the future like the ant.
Moral: Hard Work Never Fails
3. If given a chance, who would you want to be- the ant or the cricket? Justify your answer.
If a chance is given, I will certainly want to be the ant. The ant works hard not only individually but also in groups. It plans and saves food for its future. It ensures its happy life at the time of struggle. The ant made it clear that ants never borrow or lend. Likewise we, humans should work hard and plan for our future. We should not go to the borrowing stage. We should ensure our safe and happy life for our future. There is no success without hard work. Like the active ant, I too, will work hard and be sincere. I will plan my life for my better future.
• Life of the Cricket
• Life of the ant
• Cricket’s plead
• Ant’s refusal
In this narrative poem, the poet brings out the idea of hard work and planning that is essential for every creature. The poem is about a wise, hard working ant and a careless, lazy cricket.
Life of the Cricket:
The cricket was young and silly. It enjoyed singing all summer and spring not worrying about the future. It did not plan for the winter. During winter, the cricket was suffering from lack of food and warm shelter. It was unable to bear the cold and wet weather.
Life of the ant:
But the ant worked hard and saved food in summer. It enjoyed the winter.
The cricket pleaded the miserly ant for grains and shelter. But the ant made it clear that ants never borrow or lend.
The ant refused to lend food and closed its small gate. It could not tolerate the careless lazy cricket and drove it away.
Finally the poet indicates that there are some two-legged crickets in this world which are human beings. He wants such people to work hard and plan for future.
Moral: ‘Make hay while the sun shines’