La Fontaine et La Cuisine   [Image de LaFontaine]

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La Cigale et la Fourmi
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The Cicada and the Ant

Cicada, having sung her song
All summer long,
Found herself without a crumb
When winter winds did come.
Not a scrap was there to find
Of fly or earthworm, any kind.
Hungry, she ran off to cry
To neighbor Ant, and specify:
Asking for a loan of grist,
A seed or two so she’d subsist
Just until the coming spring.
She said, "I’ll pay you everything
Before fall, my word as animal,
Interest and principal."
Well, no hasty lender is the Ant;
It’s her finest virtue by a lot.
"And what did you do when it was hot?"
She then asked this mendicant.
"To all comers, night and day,
I sang. I hope you don’t mind."
"You sang?" Why, my joy is unconfined.
Now dance the winter away."

 


English translations reprinted from The Complete Fables of Jean de la Fontaine
by Norman B. Spector, with permission from the Northwestern University Press;
La Fontaine et La Cuisine, Chicago/Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French
with the Assistance of the Multimedia Learning Center, Northwestern University