There were two brothers, George and Tom. George, who was the elder by a year, was a judicious and measured fellow. After accumulating his pile in the country; he felt he had properly earned his nickname: The Ant. Tom, needless to say, was quite the opposite: a footloose and fancy free bachelor, always hopping in and out of some girl’s bed.
When George summoned his younger brother to a restaurant in town, he had every intention of ticking him off over his latest affair.
The Hopper arrived in high spirits. “George,” he declared as he sat down and helped himself to the peanuts on the table, “you’d never guess what happened?”
“I can’t imagine,” replied the elder brother. “The Dickler came in on the National.”
“Now, George,” said Tom, who was in the habit of ignoring his brother’s sarcasm. “I’ve got some splendid news.”
He turned to the waiter and called for a bottle of champagne.
George was speechless with rage. “What do you think you are doing?” he spluttered.
The waiter returned with the champagne and poured it, with a flourish, into the two beckoning flutes.
Tom’s eyes sparkled.
“I just can’t believe my luck,” he said, sipping the Bollinger. “You remember that old duck I was dating… Turns out she’s popped her clogs and left me her entire fortune…”
Tom got up to leave. “By the way, George,” he said, “I do believe I’ve come out without my wallet. You will settle it, won’t you?”
The moral of this fable is quite the opposite of the original: an ant should never go into business with a hopper, let alone foot his bills.