This is a short play that I wrote for Story Theatre this past spring. It’s my adaptation from Aesop.
ANT: Many years ago, there lived an ant…
GRASSHOPPER: And a Grasshopper…They dwelled in a grassy meadow…
ANT: This meadow, you see, was in a valley and next to a farmer’s field.
GRASSHOPPER: Summer had come early this year. And summertime in the valley meant two things for the grasshopper: play and sleep.
ANT: But for the Ant, summer changed nothing. Every day, six days a week, she got out of bed before sunrise and walked several miles to the Farmer’s field, carrying a heavy sack on her back. At the field, she would pick up a grain of wheat and then walk the several miles back home.
GRASSHOPPER: The Grasshopper would watch her toil in the heat of the day. Every time he saw her pass by, he laughed loudly.
‘Why do you work so hard? Come here, dear Ant. Sit with me underneath this great tree and rest a while. I’ll sing you a melodious tune.
ANT: Oh, not him again.
GRASSHOPPER: (Singing while music plays softly in the background)
Summer is here. Summer is here.
and it shan’t stay long, no it won’t stay long.
So why waste it’s visit in labor and toil?
Oh, please come here and sing with me.
ANT: Leave me alone!
GRASSHOPPER: (laughs out loud) You are such a silly little Ant. Why must you waste such beautiful days working as hard as a slave? (in a sing-song voice) Come, come. Please leave your work and dance with me.
The Grasshopper hops across the stage, singing and dancing while the Ant runs off in another direction.
Music sounds and then fades out when Ant starts to speak.
ANT: But Summer turned into Autumn and Autumn faded into winter. The days grew colder, shorter and wetter. Soon, it began to snow.
GRASSHOPPER: The Grasshopper didn’t feel like singing and dancing anymore. He was cold, hungry and he had no shelter to provide him with warmth. There was no food to be found because the entire valley had been covered by snow.
ANT: But the Ant didn’t have to worry about the cold, she was warm. She lived inside the trunk of a small tree, and she was never hungry because she had plenty of food to last throughout the winter months.
GRASSHOPPER: The Grasshopper searched the farmer’s field for food and shelter. He even dug into the snow, hoping that he might find something to satisfy his aching belly. But he found nothing.
‘Oh, what shall I do? Where shall I go?’
‘The Ant! I shall go to her and ask for food and shelter.’ So off he went to the tree trunk where the Ant lived.
Sound of knocking
ANT: Who’s there?
GRASSHOPPER: It’s me. Grasshopper.
ANT: (opens the door reluctantly) What are you doing here, and what do you want from me?
GRASSHOPPER: Hello, Ant. I’ve come to sing for you; and to seek food and shelter from the cold.
ANT: All summer long, I worked hard while you mocked me. You should have thought about winter then. Find somewhere else to sing, Grasshopper, because there is no room for you here.
GRASSHOPPER: Please, Ant! I promise I will change. I will do anything you ask me to do. Just don’t keep me out in the cold. I’m so hungry and there is nowhere else to go. I beg you! Please let me stay.
ANT: (with a heavy sigh) Alright, you can stay. But you must promise that, in the summer, you will work with me, so you will have food and shelter when next winter comes.
GRASSHOPPER: I will, oh I will, dear Ant. You can show me the tricks of the trade and I promise, that I will make you happy.
ANT: That night, they ate a delicious meal.
GRASSHOPPER: And after the meal, she gave the grasshopper a place to sleep by the fire.
ANT: They soon became very good friends.
GRASSHOPPER: The Grasshopper was happy to have her as his friend, but he also learnt a very important lesson that winter: it is wise to worry about tomorrow today.