Ant and Grasshopper by Luli Gray
Illustrated by Giuliano Ferri
We are all familiar with the classic Aesop's fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper. The grasshopper spends all his time relaxing, singing and playing around while the ant works tirelessly. Winter comes, the grasshopper has nothing to eat while the ant is well prepared. Lesson: always plan ahead. So...I never really liked that fable. I thought the ant was too cruel! I mean, true, the grasshopper should have worked harder but, to let him starve to death? Come on! That's why I was very glad to come across this new version of the fable by Luli Gray.
In Gray's version of Ant and Grasshopper, Ant is an accountant obsessed with counting all her possessions over and over again, making sure he has enough stored for the winter. Grasshopper spends his summer playing the fiddle and singing...and driving Ant nuts with all that noise! Eventually, as in Aesop's fable, winter comes and Grasshopper comes knocking at Ant's door asking for warmth and food. Ant first slams the door and leaves Grasshopper out in the cold. But during that night's sleep, Ant has a nightmare that wakes him up and sends him to his doorstep to find Grasshopper about to die out in the cold. Ant saves him and they begin a wonderful friendship. While Ant shared his food, Grasshopper taught Ant to love music. The final line in Gray's version has a much better moral to the fable: "Everybody counts."