Summer had just begun. Animals and insects scurried about, enjoying the summer sun. "Summer's here! The best time of the year!" the Grasshopper sang. "Warm sun, lots of fun!" he added to his song.
A line of ants marched past the Grasshopper, carrying small seeds and bits of food. As they walked along, some crumbs fell to the ground. Before the ants could get them, the Grasshopper had eaten the crumbs.
The ant at the end of the line walked up to the Grasshopper. "We've worked very hard to gather this food," said the Ant. "You should have helped us pick up what we dropped."
"That's what's wrong with your summer song," the Grasshopper sang. Then he said, "You're always working. Summertime is for play, not work."
"Summertime is for planning and gathering," said the Ant. "It's time for getting all the food we will need for the winter."
"Winter is so far away, I think I'd rather go and play," said the Grasshopper. He was about to hop off when the Ant stopped him.
"Wait! What about the food you took from us?" the Ant asked.
"Oh, yes. Thank you." The Grasshopper pointed toward a field. "And over there is a whole field of wheat to replace your crumbs. I like cornfields better myself, but that might be too far for you to walk."
And the Grasshopper hopped off to the cornfield. The Grasshopper quickly forgot about the Ant and leaped onto a cornstalk. A soft leaf gave him a bed. Above him, another leaf gave him shade.
And within reach, smaller, tender leaves gave him food. There was even an ear of fresh corn nearby. "Those ants can gather and work and store. I'll just snooze right here and snore." He fell fast asleep.
Meanwhile, the Ant lined the tunnels of his home with seeds and other foods. "When the snow is on the ground, we will be nice and warm in our nest. We will have plenty of food to eat and plenty of time to play," thought the Ant.
All that summer, the Grasshopper watched the ants. When he saw them going to a picnic for crumbs, he hopped along to eat his fill. While they carried food back to their nest, he slept in his cornstalk bed.
Then one day, the Grasshopper heard a loud noise. The farmer was coming to harvest the corn! The Grasshopper jumped into the grass. "Close call, all in all," sang the Grasshopper. "I just lost my bed and food!"
A line of ants was marching past and heard the Grasshopper. The Ant stopped. "The days are getting shorter, my friend. But there is still time for you to store food and find a winter shelter."
Continue to the next page to see what happened to the Grasshopper next.
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