Thursday, June 19, 2008

The grasshopper and the ant

Perhaps some of you remember Aesop’s Fables. They were written hundreds of years ago and contain timeless stories and parables. There is a moral at the end of each story. I think “The Grasshopper and the Ant” is especially important today.

An industrious ant was toiling all summer gathering food and taking it back to the underground tunnels. He was preparing for the winter when snow would cover the ground and food would be scarce.

The grasshopper reclined under a shady tree and watched the ant working, scurry back and forth with his burdens. He would laugh at the ant and tease him. “Why do you work so hard? Why don’t you sit under this shady tree with me and relax? There is plenty of time before winter.”

The ant would always respond, “I can’t do that. The tunnel needs to be filled so we won’t be hungry.”

“Surely you can stop for a day, can’t you?” asked the grasshopper. “Relax.”

“No! And if I were you, I would be gathering some food and storing it for winter. If you don’t, you’ll starve.”

“There is plenty of time.” The grasshopper just laughed and watched the ant work day after day.

Winter came early that year and the chill winds blew. The grasshopper was cold and started down the path to look for food. He looked on both sides of the path. There was no food, just a couple of leaves that swirled around him much too fast for him to catch. The pond was dry. He was alone. He was afraid and he was hungry.

He went to the ant tunnel and called out to the ant. “Can you help me?”

The ant came to the opening and replied, “What do you want?”

“I’m cold and I’m hungry. Can you spare some food?”

The ant sneered and said, “You had all summer to gather food for yourself. I worked all summer gathering food for my family and me. We have none to spare. Now go away.” The ant rolled a small stone across the opening and left the grasshopper standing outside.

The moral, of course, is don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today or it is better to prepare for the days of necessity.

So what does this have to do with RVing? Well, how many of us put aside extra food, water and money in our RVs to support our RV lifestyle? We all knew the gas prices were rising and showed no signs of decreasing. We all knew the high gas prices would cause a ripple effect in shipping and food prices. How many of us stocked our RVs with supplies and prepared them for an emergency evacuation in case of a disaster?

Economists used to tell us to have six months’ income put aside to cover our expenses in case of job loss. Then it was three months. Now many are one paycheck away from a personal economic crisis.

I’ve spoken with several RVers who are planning to sell their RVs because they can’t afford the gas to drive them. These folks have paid off their RVs and own them free and clear. I argued that they should keep their RVs: in these uncertain economic times, an RV is inflation- and recession-proof. With an RV, you’ll never be homeless. You won’t be hungry or thirsty. You’ll have all the resources you need to live comfortably if you’ve prepared.

It’s not too late to start now. Next time you shop for groceries, put a few extra items with a distant expiration date in your cart for the RV. Fill the fresh water tank. Fill the propane tank. Have your generator serviced if you need to. Bite the bullet and fill the gas tank. It’s not going to get any cheaper if you wait.

It’s summer but winter will be here before you know it. Are you prepared?


  1. I agree that an RV, particularly if it is paid off, is inflation- and recession-proof. If worse comes to worse, there are RV parks that you can buy into for relatively low investments and then live in your RV there. Many have activites and club houses and are very nice. Often they have shuttles to town.

    And, you can always travel in your RV to where the jobs are and probably get a free or reduced-cost RV site along with the deal.

    An RV can be an ace in the hole if bad times strike.

    Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
    Blogger at Working on the RV Road at RV Travel at

  2. Also, it could come in real handy in case of a natural disaster such as an earthquake. You may not be able to live in your brick-and-mortar home but the one on wheels should be unharmed.