Autumn was coming to an end. All the insects and animals were working very hard to stock their larders with enough food to last them the winter. They all knew that winter time would be tough – it would be cold and food would be scarce. As it would get dark really soon, it would be difficult to go looking for food.

Therefore, everyone was working hard, all except Mr Grasshopper. He loved autumn. Autumn was a time when the leaves changed colour. It was all so so pretty. The trees seemed to be on fire with red, yellow and orange leaves, which then fell off and covered the ground. There was a pleasant breeze too.

Preparing for Winter [Illustration by Anup Singh]
Preparing for Winter [Illustration by Anup Singh]

Mr Grasshopper spent his days playing. He jumped from leaf to leaf and from one fallen twig to another. What he liked best was the way the leaves bounced when he jumped off them, and how the leaf he landed on swayed with his weight. “Yooo eeeeee. Life is lovely, the world is beautiful, I want to play forever…” he sang.

Just then little Miss Ant happened to pass by. She was dragging a heavy grain of rice behind her. “Oowf. This is so heavy. I wish I could get some help with this. I should have asked my brother to come along to help me,” she was muttering. “Oh, do you need help?” asked Mr Grasshopper.

“Yes, sir. Would you give me a hand? My ant hill is just a few trees away, but this is so heavy,” replied the ant happily. “Naw. First you come and play with me for some time, then I shall gladly help you. What are you toiling for anyway? Autumn is so beautiful, you too should enjoy the weather while you can,” the grasshopper said.

“No, Mr Grasshopper. You too must start collecting your food for the winter. Otherwise it will be tough as there won’t be anything to eat,” said the concerned ant.

“Nothing doing. I will go out and find all the food I want when I am hungry. Right now it is time to play and have a party,” the silly grasshopper replied. So Miss Ant just shook her head and went on – “Huff, puff, huff, puff.”

Then winter came. It was so cold that the ants didn’t dare to come out. But their tummies were full and they were warm and happy. Actually, everyone was warm and happy, except for Mr Grasshopper. He was cold and hungry. As he went hunting for food only when it was less cold than usual, he got very little to eat and soon became weak with hunger.

“Oh, why did I spend my days playing? I should have listened to the ant…” he thought with regret.

467 words | 4 minutes
Readability: Grade 4 (9-10 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #trees, #winter, #grasshoppers, #autumn

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