The Cricket

Jean Pierre Claris de Florian 1793

A poor little cricket,
Concealed in grass flower-strewn,
Watched in a thicket
A butterfly hover at noon.
The winged insect shone with the brightest of hues,
Purple, gold and blue its wings elaborate.
Young, handsome, little master, it hurries to choose
All the finest blooms to take and pollinate
“Ah!” said the cricket. “How his fate and my fate
Are different! Mother Nature did her best,
Did everything for him, but for me it’s too late.
I have no great talent, beauty even less.
No-one takes notice of me. They resist.
I might as well just not exist.”
As he was talking, down in the meadow
A troupe of children out of nowhere come
And right away they break into a run.
After the butterfly all want to follow.
Hat, hankies, bonnets serve to hold it fast.
The insect’s attempts to escape do not last.
It soon their thirst for conquest slakes.
One grabs it by the wing, another by the thorax,
A third child comes up and by the head it takes.
It did not need an ax;
The tearing of it sates.
“Oh! Oh!” said the cricket. “By anger I’m not driven.
Making much of oneself’s no easy requirement.
How much I’ll enjoy my total retirement.”
In order to live happily, live hidden.


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