grasshopper (1)

The Grasshopper and the Ants

As retold by the Reverend Hellfire.

Ever hear the old fable about the Grasshopper and the Ants?

It was one of those classic little cautionary tales by legendary Greek Story-teller Aesop, that Teachers, Preachers and other self-righteous Humbugs throughout the Ages, were fond of repeating to the Young. Usually they’d tack on an entirely superfluous “Moral” at the end of the story as well,

just in case you missed the point.

Yes, back-in-the-day, the fable of the Grasshopper & the Ants

got dinned into every school kid’s head to reinforce the Work Ethic and other old fashioned values. These days I dunno. Maybe there’s something you can download off the Net.


Anyways, the way Aesop told the tale, once upon time there was an ant-hive full of hard-working, industrious Ants, and right next door was their neighbour, the good-for-nothing Grasshopper.

Now the Grasshopper was a musician and a merry soul, and all Summer long while the Ants toiled in the hot sun to collect food for the hive, the grasshopper would sit in the shade and sing songs. Whenever the Ants took a break the Grasshopper would be there, cracking jokes, entertaining the ants with his latest ballet and whatever the Social Occasion, the Grasshopper

would be sure to turn up with his fiddle, ready to play till dawn.


But Summer passes quickly and Winter follows close upon mellow Autumn’s heels, and there came a day when the fields were covered in snow and the trees were bare

and the Ants stayed in their home. They didn’t need to go out to gather food because all Summer long they’d been storing supplies, and now they had enough of everything

to last them till the Spring.

But the Grasshopper, who’d been singing and playing all Summer long hadn’t stored any food for the Winter.

So he went knocking at the Hive doors and asked to be fed

and put up for the Winter.

Aesop Catalog

But the Ants didn’t want to undermine the Grasshoppers’ Work Ethic. “Sure we could feed you, but then you’d just become Welfare Dependent,” the Ants said,

“You’d only end up with a sense of Entitlement. Then you’d stop looking for a job and lose all self respect.

Why don’t you do some Voluntary Work and hope that leads to part-time employment later on down the track. Anyway, don’t you have any Superannuation or Disability Insurance?”


And so the Grasshopper starved to death in the snow.


There, according to Aesop ends the tale and the Moral of that Tale, as self righteous, sanctimonious windbags throughout the Ages like to point out, is of course;

“Work Macht Frei”

Or words to that affect.

arbeit macht frei

But that’s not really the whole story, oh no…


What Happens Next..

The secret suppressed end to the Grasshopper & the Ants goes on to relate that before very long the selfish ants who’d callously let their musical neighbour starve, started to miss the Grasshopper.


They remembered how he entertained them all last winter thru the coldest snow storms, lifting their spirits with his jolly song and dance routines.. How he turned up to play the music at every party and festival. Now they were bored and irritable all the time without the Grasshopper’s music in the background.

grasshopper music work ant

Alcoholism rates rose as did incidents of domestic violence. The worker ants remembered how they used to sing along to his songs as they worked in the fields, and how it made the hard work easier.. Now their work suffered as a result. Hive production fell. The Ants also started remembering how they never actually paid the Grasshopper for his music. Just kind of took his music for granted really. Cognitive Dissonance reached epidemic proportions as Denial and suppressed guilt struggled to surface from the Collective Subconscious.

discontented ants

For the first time in the Hive’s history, the birth rate fell,

and Growth for the last two quarters continued to decline

as the stockmarkets reeled.

Depression and Social Unease spread throughout the hive like a rot. The suicide rate amongst young ants trebled,

as did incidents of self harm. Whole Ant families left the Hive, looking for a better Life for their kids. Commission of Inquiries into “Intellectual Copyright” and the States’ “Duty of Care” were called for. Political Heads rolled into many a gutter.

Corrupt bureaucratic insects fled to Corporate Tax Havens buried deep in a nearby human midden heap.

In short, the whole social fabric of the Ant Community had been held together by the Grasshopper’s music, and now that Community crumbled and collapsed without it.

By the time Summer came around again, the Hive was an empty ruin.

arbeit_macht_frei 2

Now you’ll have to work out for yourself what it all means, as I intend to ignore Tradition, and instead, I’m NOT going to give you the usual “and the Moral of the Story is..” type ending.

It would just be an ANTi-Climax.

ant dancing to grasshopper

Today’s story is dedicated to the recently deceased

Rocshane (Rocky) Andrado,

a well known figure in the streets and bars of West End,

who died as he lived, a penniless musician,

surrounded by his friends.

Vale Frater.


middle ground JPIG


June 2016 handbill


reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

He may be out of his Depth, but he’s still dog-paddling furiously.



~ by reverendhellfire on June 19, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: