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The Legend of the Ant and the Grasshopper

The Original Legend

An ant and a grasshopper lived in the same field. During the summer, the ant works all day and night bringing supplies for the winter and he prepares his home to keep him warm during the cold winter months ahead. Meanwhile the grasshopper hops and sings and eats all the grass he wants and procreates.

Come winter, the grass dies and it is bitterly cold. The ant is well fed and warm in his house, but the grasshopper has not prepared for the winter, so he dies, leaving a whole horde of little grasshoppers without food or shelter. The moral of the story is that one should work hard to ensure that you can take care of yourself.

The South African Version

The first part is the same, but because it happens in South Africa there are a few complications…

The starving, shivering offspring of the grasshopper demand to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while right next door they are living in terrible conditions, without food or proper clothing. A TV crew shows up and broadcasts footage of the poor grasshoppers, contrasting this footage with the ant, snug in his comfortable home with a pantry full of food. The public is stunned.

How can it be, in this beautiful field, that the poor grasshoppers are allowed to suffer so while the ant lives in the lap of luxury.

In the blink of an eye, SAGU (South African Grasshopper Union) is formed. They charge the ant with “species bias”, and claim that the grasshoppers are victims of 30 Million years of green oppression. The stage a protest in front of the ant’s house and trash the street. The TV crew interviews them, and they state that if all their demands are not met, they will be forced into a life of crime. Just for practice they loot the TV crew’s luggage and Hijack their van.

The TRC (Take and Redistribute Commission) justifies their behaviour by saying that this is a legacy of the ant’s discrimination and oppression of the grasshoppers. They demand that the ant apologies to the grasshopper for what they have done, and that he make amends for all the other ants in history that have done the same thing to the grasshoppers. PAGAD (People against Grasshopper Abuse and Distress) state that they are starting a holy war against the ants.

The president appears on the 8 o clock news, and says he will do everything for the grasshoppers that have been denied the prosperity they deserve by those who have benefited unfairly during the summer. The government drafts the EEGAD (Economic Equity for Greens and Disadvantaged) act retrospective to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to employ a proportionate number of green insects, and, having nothing left to pay his taxes, his home is confiscated by the government for redistribution.

The story ends as we see a grasshopper finishing off the last of the ants food while the government house he is in (which happens to be the ants old house) crumbles around him because he does not know how to maintain it.

Showing on the TV (which he and a couple of friends stole from another ant) the president is standing before a group of wildly singing and dancing grasshoppers announcing that the new era of “equality” has dawned on the field.

The ant, meanwhile, is not allowed to work, because he has historically benefited from the field. In his place, ten grasshoppers have been appointed to harvest the grass for the winter, but the grasshoppers only work 2 hours a day and steal half of what they actually harvest.

When winter comes again and not enough food has been harvested they strike and demand an 150% increase in their wages so that they can buy food, which now has to be imported because the grasshoppers are not productive enough to produce enough food locally.

The ant packs his things, and immigrates to another field where he starts a highly successful food company, and becomes a millionaire by selling food to the field where he came from.

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