It can often be amazing just how much wisdom may be found in stories and fables. While many mothers have grown used to the same bedtime tales every night, it can be insightful to actually attend to the words that are being recited. The tale about the ants and the grasshopper not only aids children in learning to plan ahead and be prepared, but it is also an ideal introduction to survival skills for young members of the family.
The basis of the story is that a grasshopper enjoying the summer sun was watching a colony of ants collecting mounds of food and bringing it back to the nest. The grasshopper could not understand why the ants were working so hard when food was currently so plentiful, but even when the ants explained that they were preparing for the winter, the grasshopper still brushed off making this kind of effort. In the end, winter comes early, and the grasshopper is caught without food and shelter as the snow comes.
Although in the story, the ants are kind enough to share their long-term food storage and shelter with the poor grasshopper, the lesson of making sure that supplies are present in any event is still at the core of the tale. In relating stories to actual experiences, mothers do often find that expanding upon the moral of the tale can become a productive learning time. Ants and grasshoppers can certainly spark a child’s interest in regard to learning survival skills, gaining practical knowledge for emergency events, and becoming involved in food kits, water purification, and other supplies that ensure preparedness. However, relating these real world themes to the story can also make the learning experience more fun. While everyone may want to be a grasshopper, and just trust that needs will be met, the ants were not only prepared to survive, but had abundant food stores that could be shared to save another.