Michiel Mans found this on a Dutch blog and sent it to us.
The Squirrel and the Grasshopper
Version for the Rest of the World
The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building and improving his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.
The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold…
The U.K. Version:
The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.
A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like the grasshopper, are cold and starving.
The BBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper; with cuts to a video of the squirrel in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.
The British press inform people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so, while others have plenty.
The Labour Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Council of GB demonstrate in front of the squirrel’s house. The BBC, interrupting a cultural festival special from Notting Hill with breaking news, broadcasts a multicultural choir singing “We Shall Overcome”. Ken Livingstone rants in an interview with Trevor McDonald that the squirrel got rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his “fair share” and increases the charge for squirrels to enter inner London. In response to pressure from the media, the Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel’s taxes are reassessed.
– – – – – – – – –
He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders for the work he was doing on his home and an additional fine for contempt when he told the court the grasshopper did not want to work.
The grasshopper is provided with a council house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile. The squirrel’s food is seized and redistributed to the more needy members of society, in this case the grasshopper.
Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.
The local authority takes over his old home and utilises it as a temporary home for some asylum-seeking cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Britain, as they had to share their country of origin with mice. On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of Britain’s apparent love of dogs.
The cats are arrested for the international offence of hijacking and attempted bombing but are immediately released because the police feed them pilchards instead of salmon whilst in custody.
Initial moves to then return them to their own country are abandoned because it is feared they would face death by the mice. The cats devise and start a scam to obtain money from people’s credit cards.
A Panorama special shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrel’s food, though spring is still months away, while the council house he is in crumbles around him because he hasn’t bothered to maintain the house.
He is shown to be taking drugs. Inadequate government funding is blamed for the grasshopper’s drug ‘illness’.
The cats seek recompense in the British courts for their treatment since arrival in UK.
The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drug habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody for a few weeks. He is placed in the care of the probation service to monitor and supervise him. Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery. A commission of enquiry that will eventually cost £10,000,000 and state the obvious is set up.
Additional money is put into funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers and legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased. The asylum-seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Britain’s multicultural diversity and dogs are criticised by the government for failing to befriend the cats.
The grasshopper dies of a drug overdose. The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic experience of prison. They call for the resignation of a minister.
The cats are paid a million pounds each because their rights were infringed when the government failed to inform them there were mice in the United Kingdom.
The squirrel, the dogs and the victims of the hijacking, the bombing, the burglaries and robberies have to pay an additional percentage on their credit cards to cover losses, their taxes are increased to pay for law and order and they are told that they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.
Origin unknown, from the Internet.
The version I heard was “Old version” and “New socialist version”. Hillary was mentioned. I don’t know when it transformed in to a UK version. A lot of the language used is more Americana then British, though it does make a reference to the incident at Sanford airport a few years back which is rather unique.
The squirrel has to be delusional to think he can ignore the plight of every other creature on Earth who were not endowed with the instinct to gather adequate food and to build a cozy nest.
The Lobby for the Instinctually-Deprived will force him to hand over his nuts.
There is another form of the same tale, for southern Europe, with cicada (cricket harvest fly) and ant, from the “Fables de La Fontaine” (Tales of La Fontaine).
In the old version ant worked all the summer and cicada sang. When come the winter the cicada knocked the door of the ant and says:
cicada) let me in. It is cold and I am hungry
ant) what did you in summer
cicada) and sang
ant) then dance now
And closed the door.
The new versions for this tale is the same variation that for the squirrel and grasshopper. But ther is one that is funny, with the ant working with a pneumatic hammer and the cicada that is a rock star.
What happens is that in the first grades of school the old version was banned and it is the new versions that are taught to kids in school.
the story forgot to include the part where the grashopper blames Israel for his “inability to work and function as a normal grasshopper”