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"The Cicada" a portrait from 1872 by Jules Le Febvre.

The is a personification of the self-indulgent, wastrel Grasshopper who has spent the summer making music while the Ant has worked industriously to store food for the winter.

While the typical moral of that Aesop's Fable is "Work now or starve later", this "Cicada" arouses more sympathy. Perhaps the artist understood the plight of those who make for beauty's sake.

I wonder what the "Ant" in Le Febvre's vision of the story would look like. And would the Ant be giving the standard response when the Cicada asks for food: "You made music instead of working; now you can dance instead of eating."

It's difficult to imagine being so hard-hearted to such a creature.

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