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If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.
Says the ant to the
cricket, “I’m your servant
and friend,
But we ants never
borrow; we ants never
But tell me, dear cricket,
Did you lay anything by
When the weather was
warm?” Quoth the cricket,
“Not I!”
My heart was so light
That I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.”
“For all nature looked gay”.
“You sang, Sir, you say?
The cricket went to the ant and asked for help. The ant said he was the cricket's servant and friend, meaning that he would help him if required. But the ant also said that ants don't borrow or lend anything. The ant further asked the cricket what he had been doing when the weather was warm enough for him to work hard and save food. The cricket replied that he was very happy when nature looked good and bright. He added that he sang all day and night, out of happiness.
The cricket was singing songs whilst the ant was working
Here the poet refers to the mockery made by the ant as it asks unbelievably if the cricket had really wasted time singing.  The ant mocked the cricket because the ant was worked hard during the summer months to relax and have food during winter, whereas the cricket had sung songs all day during summer and now came to the ant for help. This also refers to the poet mocking lazy people. We should always think of our future and save according to our needs. When we have money, we should not spend everything; we should save for the hard days.
If we have a valid reason for not saving for the future, others may show pity on us and help us out of a difficult situation; but if we enjoy happily instead of working hard, nobody will come forward to help us. The summer and winter may also refer to our young and old age - if we work hard during our young years and save wisely, we can live happily during the old age without asking for help from anyone.
Meanings of difficult words:
QuothSaid (in Old English)
MockeryTo tease or fool others
Dance the winter awaySpend time dancing, during the winter
State Council of Educational Research and Training 2019. Term 1 English Standard - 10. The Ant and the Cricket - Aesop's Fables (pp. 115 -119). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.