Once in a country garden, in that lovely but strangely little-known triangle of England that lies between Northampton, Bicester and Warwick, there was a a hardworking ant. And all day long, the ant worked – bringing in grains of grass seed, picking the ripest of berries and taking them down to the storage caves of the ants’ nest under the lawn.
And there was a grasshopper in the long grass at the back of that garden – over where the gardener let the grass grow long, to encourage the poppies. All day long, the grasshopper sat on a blade of grass, rubbing his back legs with his wings – or whatever it is grasshoppers do – and singing. All the sunny days, without any care for the future, the grasshopper would sing his chirpy song, and not much else.
And then, one day, the clouds were full of rain and the sky was black and threatening. And a woman came along and poured a kettle of boiling water down into the ants’ nest. And the hard-working ant, and all his anty friends, suddenly became a weak solution of formic acid when they least expected it. And the grasshopper carried on singing, regardless, as the expected rainstorm blew over and it was a sunny day after all.
Bloody hate ants, I do. Quite like grasshoppers, though.