The Grasshopper and the Ant – untold

Update as of 8 december 2009

The ant and the grasshopper story has been told a zillion times; to refresh your memories – it is all about how the ant works hard all summer long while the grasshopper “sings”, “chirps” and hops around and when the rains and winter comes, and food becomes scarce, the ant has enough stowed away, while the grasshopper dies of hunger since he did not store for a rainy day! How untrue such stories are, because, if the grasshopper met its end in winter, then how did new grasshoppers appear the next summer. So the story must have some twist somewhere, right? The industrious and disciplined ant may go about its business all summer round and store food, but the grasshopper is also smart and knows how to avoid cold wet winters. They simply sense the change in weather and start their migration to warmer latitudes where they can continue to sing and chirp and still get the juiciest grass to chew on. Their hind legs are strong, they tense up when the grasshopper is on the ground, like a wound coil and when they release this tension, the grasshopper simply springs up a few feet into the air and with a little help from their wings, they can travel short distances quite quickly. They use this technique to locomote and their feelers act like antenna to detect the right direction to follow. So they are actually smart insects and unlike the ants that live together in a group and owing to their social obligations are not as mobile, the footloose and fancy free grasshopper simply chews grass, chirps, tenses its hind legs and hops to safer climes.  

The ant and grasshopper Retold tale had its enactment on D Street today, as cautious D Boyz tried to stay as close to the ground as possible – climbing a few anthills here and there until finally trying to bury their profits (food) under the ground, while the grasshopper instincts took over from here by hopping about 170 points up and then using the wings to navigate the flight to greener pastures. So – If the D Antz kept their path on the SENSEX at around 70-80 points above previous day; the green D Grasshopperz just ensured that the SENSEX flight was above 170, soaring to close 244 points over previous day at 17227.

Theoretically speaking, the grasshopper cannot sing, and the chirping sound that sometimes sounds like muted sparrows is actually not sound from the grasshopper’s mouth. It is from the sheer wings, which when wiped with each other, squeaks or chirps, quite in the same way as the racket is created by their cousins, the cricket. Of course the flight of the grasshopper should not be confused with a locust swarm, which is a group activity with devastating results – almost like a marauding unstoppable mob!



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