La Cigale et La Fourmi, in modern times!
For my English speaking readers, and just to give you a bit of perspective, please lookup the English translation of this classic poem or “Fable” by Jean de La Fontaine, preferably before you carry on reading this piece; That’ll give you an idea of what the morale of the story is.. and for all those who have never read La Fontaine’s work, I can guarantee you’ll get a quick out of it.
As a kid, I had to memorize every word of “La Cigale et la Fourmi”; I know that gives away my age… ;) and up to this day, I can still recite every single word of this fable by heart and I tend to repeat it sometimes as a mantra, when the occasion calls for it.
My mother, (May her soul rest in peace cause it’s been 10 years since she passed away) insisted that I learn this “Fable” by heart, and I didn’t understand, nor saw the value in it at the time.
But after many valuable life lessons, I learned how to appreciate the genius of La Fontaine. What better way to highlight certain human flaws then to use humor, right?
It’s been a couple of days since I’m feeling the urge to write about it and there’s a nagging voice telling me to share my thoughts, and unload unto my readers a small dose of cynicism. Here’s the essence of this Fable:
La Cigale was a spoiled brat, singing all summer long, “Nuit et jour à tout venant”, not worrying about a thing, while La Fourmi was hard working, dedicated and focused. La Cigale is what some might refer to nowadays as a “Cool” chick, and others may consider careless, irresponsible and lazy. By contrast, la Fourmi was organized, working tirelessly on planning ahead for the cold season.
Alright, you got the picture?
“La Cigale se trouva fort depourvue quand la bise fut venue” In English please! Alright alright; La Cigale found herself running out of supplies much needed for the harsh cold winter season; She was basically S.O.L! So, what’s the first thing she does? She goes to La Fourmi and begs for help; basically, asking for a handout.
La Fourmi, being the uptight, strict, dead focused that she is, tells La Cigale: Nope, Non, Nada, Niet… Ain’t happening. “Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud? Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse”!.. or what translates to “What were you doing all this summer while I was busting my a*# off”!
And, you got the rest; La Fourmi reaps the fruits of her own labor, while La Cigale ends up destitute…