The Story of the Little Red Hen

Once upon a time . . . on a farm near Pikesville, Maryland , there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she was surprise to have uncovered quite a few grains of wheat.

She called to a few of her listless animal neighbors and said, "If we plant this wheat, we shall have good and tasty bread to eat. Let's go plant these now."

"Not I," said the cow.

"Not I," said the duck.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the goose.

"Then I will have to do it by myself," said the little red hen in disgust. And so she did. It was not long before the wheat grew very tall and ripened into a bounty of beautiful golden grains.

"Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I, for I'm not really hungry right now," said the duck.

"It's out of my pay grade," said the pig.

"It's not in my area," said the cow.

"I'd lose my unemployment compensation from the owner," said the goose.

"Then I will have to do it by myself," said the little red hen. And so she did realizing she was on her own.

At last it came time to bake the bread. "Who will help me bake the bread?" asked the little red hen.

"That would be overtime for me," said the cow.

"I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the duck.

"I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the pig.

"If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen. And so she did. She baked five loaves. Soon her animal neighbors could smell the wonderful loaves. They instantly wanted some and, in fact, demanded their fair share.

But the little red hen said, "No, I shall eat some of these five loaves and then share them with my family and those who are too old to help themselves on the farm."

"Excess profits!" bellowed the liberal cow.

"Capitalist leech!" screamed the elitist duck.

"I demand equal rights!" yelled the hateful goose.

The pig just grunted in disdain, formerly one of the animals elected representatives who had been used to receiving many free handouts.

They painted "Unfair!" picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen's house, shouting obscenities at what they saw as greed and self-gratification.

"The little red hen is greedy, hateful, and offends us," they chanted again and again.

The owner of the farm came over to see what all the commotion was. He had bought the farm last year on a loan without needing any money down, telling the bank he wanted to try his ideas at farming. He had worked in the city, arranging free handouts for others who didn't like going to work every day, not having any resources for themselves but offended by others who did.

He reasoned with the little red hen based on his experience in the city, "You must not be so greedy."

"But I earned the bread," said the little red hen. "I asked, but no one wanted to help."

"That is our new world for change to benefit everyone," said the want-a-be farmer. "That is what makes our new system of sharing our wealth with everyone so wonderful. You see little red hen," he continued, "anyone in the barnyard should share in all the food others make on their own. Under new regulations I have created for the farm from my experience in living in the city, the productive workers here must divide the fruits of their labor with those who also chose to be idle, it not being their fault they aren't motivated to succeed and take care of themselves."

And the other animals hearing this all hailed the farmer as if a messiah, all suddenly eating all the fresh bread leaving almost nothing for the little red hen. The little red hen with tears in her eyes, and having been beaten down to a pulp, just smiled it off and clucked, "I am grateful for my owner's wisdom, for now I truly understand and see the big picture that I had missed."

And the other animals cheered.

But it wasn't long before individual initiative started to die all over the farm, everyone looking for free handouts from others.

And soon those "others" who had worked to provide the food simply disappeared into the woodwork. It turned out no one wanted to take the time and effort to bake the bread and cook the food if the new owner was going to give it to everyone for free. They realized they would be a fool to work when everyone else around them was still getting free food without having to work for it.

The little red hen never baked bread again, joining the 'party' with the other animals who had demanded their food for free. They had quickly learned it was easy to simply harass anyone who worked and wanted to keep the results of their labor for themselves by holding up nasty signs and making threats against them.

But it was not long before the food started to drop in quantity and quality, all the animals eventually thrown whatever was available. Soon the farmer-to-be could not make a profit from the farm. He soon had to skip several mortgage payments and without resources, left each animal to fight with the others for whatever was left over on the ground.

The farmer told the bank officers they should make the payments for him. But they said they needed the money to give loans out to others who wanted to try new ideas that would make profits for themselves as well as the banks.

"It's how we all can live together and prosper," they reminded the socialistic farmer.

The farm and all its equipment and animals were soon put up for bankruptcy auction, with a very productive Russian butcher buying all the animals, including the little red hen.


Moral of the Story

The success of a strong society is when citizens can provide for themselves while offering others a fair wage who want to share in their success. It can also motivate a few others to independent success while allowing those who want to work for only the basics of life to have a simple but comfortable living.

The Russian butcher, who loved his profession, really was not much different from the little red hen. The only difference was that he knew when he was being fed a line of bull.


Original concept taken from an unknown e-mail source, rewritten by Webmaster - Freedom is Knowledge



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