Guy Wetmore Carryl

The Impecunious Cricket and the Frugal Ant

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There was an ant, a spinster ant,
Whose virtues were so many
That she became intolerant
Of those who hadn't any:
She had a small and frugal mind
And lived a life ascetic,
Nor was her temperament the kind
That's known as sympathetic.

I skip details. Suffice to say
That, knocking at her wicket,
There chanced to come one autumn day
A common garden cricket
So ragged, poor, and needy that,
Without elucidation,
One saw the symptoms of a bat
Of several months' duration.

He paused beside her door-step, and,
With one pathetic gesture,
He called attention with his hand
To both his shoes and vesture.
"I joined," said he, "an opera troupe.
They suddenly disbanded,
And left me on the hostel stoop,
Lugubriously stranded.

"I therefore lay aside my pride
And frankly ask for clothing."
"Begone!" the frugal ant replied.
"I look on you with loathing.
Your muddy shoes have spoiled the lawn,
Your hands have soiled the fence, too.
If you need money, go and pawn
Your watch--if you have sense to."

THE MORAL is: Albeit lots
Of people follow Dr. Watts,
The sluggard, when his means are scant,
Should seek an uncle, not an ant!

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Guy Wetmore Carryl