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NCERT SOLUTIONS FOR CLASS 8 ENGLISH HONEYDEW
Ant and the Cricket
All Question and Answers
A fable is a story, often with animals as characters, that conveys a moral. This poem about an ant and a cricket contains an idea of far-reaching significance, which is as true of a four-legged cricket as of a ‘two-legged one’. Surely, you have seen a cricket that has two legs!
A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing
Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring,
Began to complain when he found that, at home,
His cupboard was empty, and winter was come.
Not a crumb to be found
On the snow-covered ground;
Not a flower could he see,
Not a leaf on a tree.
“Oh! what will become,” says the cricket, “of me?”
At last by starvation and famine made bold,
All dripping with wet, and all trembling with cold,
Away he set off to a miserly ant,
To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant
Him shelter from rain,
And a mouthful of grain.
He wished only to borrow;
He’d repay it tomorrow;
If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.
Says the ant to the cricket, “I’m your servant and friend,
But we ants never borrow; we ants never lend.
But tell me, dear cricket, did you lay nothing by
When the weather was warm?” Quoth the cricket,
My heart was so light
That I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.”
“You sang, Sir, you say?
Go then,” says the ant, “and dance the winter away.”
Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket,
And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.
Folks call this a fable. I’ll warrant it true:
Some crickets have four legs, and some have two.
adapted from Aesop’s Fables
famine – scarcity of food; having nothing to eat
a crumb – a piece
shelter – home
starvation – hunger
lay nothing by – save nothing
quoth – quoted
“There’s plenty of summers to come,” replied the cricket, “and lots of time to fill the pantry before winter. I’d rather sing! How can anyone work in this heat and sun?”
And so all summer, the cricket sang while the ants laboured. But the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. Autumn came, the leaves began to fall and the cricket left the bare tree. The grass too was turning thin and yellow. One morning, the cricket woke to shiver with cold. An early frost tinged the fields with white and turned the last of the green leaves brown: winter had come at last.
The cricket wandered, feeding on the few dry stalks left on the hard frozen ground. Then the snow fell and she could find nothing at all to eat. Trembling and famished, she thought sadly of the warmth and her summer songs. One evening, she saw a speck of light in the distance, and trampling through the thick snow, made her way towards it.
“Open the door! Please open the door! I’m starving. Give me some food!” An ant leaned out of the window.
“Who’s there? Who is it?”
“It’s me – the cricket. I’m cold and hungry, with no roof over my head.”
“The cricket? Ah, yes! I remember you. And what were you doing all summer while we were getting ready for winter?”
“Me? I was singing and filling the whole earth and sky with my song!”
“Singing, eh?” said the ant. “Well, try dancing now!”
Working with the poem
1. The cricket says: “ oh! What will become of me?” When does he say it, and why?
Answer – When winter comes and the cricket has nothing to eat, he cannot find even crumbs. He is worried now for his food and shelter so he says “oh! What will become of me?”
2. What is your opinion of the ant’s principles?
Answer – The ant’s principles are appropriate to some extent. But, we should not be so harsh to overlook one’s starvation. Instead, we can make one realize one’s mistake.
3. The ant tells the cricket to “dance winter away”. Do you think the word ‘dance’ is appropriate here? If so, why?
Answer – The word ‘dance’ is appropriate here because it clearly makes fun of the light and careless attitude of the cricket.
4. Why could the cricket not save anything?
Answer – the cricket was in a gay mood. He spent all his summer singing and dancing.