THE Ants and the Grasshopper, Aesop’s fable about a specific time for work and play, creeped up from my library of memories while I slowly stirred from sleep this morning to the steady patter of light rain on the roof. 

For a minute or three, I stared blankly (interpreted as “muni-muni” in the local dialect) at the ceiling before, finally rising up and helping prepare breakfast. By then, I had already come to one conclusion. 

The version of the story which had occupied my mind up till that last minute was quite different from the original one I read long ago in English Lit! While the version I entertained in my mind dealt about the coming the rainy season, the book version fretted about the threat of winter. Aha!  

Surely for you, that may not be like the discovery of the atom right there, but alas for me, that was just how my daily routine of anti-Alzheimer’s protection works (work that brain, man!).  

As another part of that early morning’s pensive ponderings, I reckoned Aesop probably got inspiration from the bible’s Ecclesiastes’ A time for everything. Another worthless piece of information perhaps right, but for me again, who cares?

One might ask, what had got me thinking of happy-go-lucky locusts upon my morning startup in the first place? Surely, it had got to be the rain on the roof, for starters. Or partly, the maxim about preparing for a rainy day. 

While it is really nice to curl up comfy in bed while a soft drizzle on the roof invites one to dream some more, rains will totally elicit a different response when you have other things planned for the day. 

The second element that had me started in those early morning brain droppings may also have been the fable’s use of insects just to impart a lesson. While fables and children stories are wont to do that, to be fair, are grasshoppers really lazy? Or, are ants really tireless workers? For one thing, I have always considered ants to be tireless hoarders and opportunistic snatchers, if you ask me. Picnic gatecrashers. And so on.

Anyways, at least by this time, you’ve already a clear idea of what goes on inside one’s mind while it’s on daydreaming mode for a minute or two. As our minds wander, paths and ideas open to us, almost like dominoes toppling in all directions. We may slide down a maze of sub-streets, while ideas in daydream costumes vie for our attention. Totally lost now, until we’re nudged by mates to stop fooling around and wake up. And wake up we must.

I am again reminded of a friend’s late mom whose favorite quote had been ‘work hard, rest easy’. At least, rain or shine, that’s enough to start the day. To end, a fleeting image of a bald monk seems to peep from behind the muni-muni as if to say, “Well done, Grasshopper”. (or was is it Babe, the piglet?)

Source: Mindanao Times (