The Story of the Little Red Hen

By Felicia Cravens, USDR Contributor

Once upon a time, a lamb, a cat, a pig, and a little red hen lived on an old farm on a flowery hill surrounded by fields of golden wheat. One day, the Little Red Hen found some grains of wheat scattered in the barnyard. “Look what I’ve found!” she said to the other animals. “Who will help me plant these grains of wheat?”

“Not I!” said the lamb.  “You’re taking jobs away from migrant workers who badly need them.”

“Not I!” said the cat.  “You’re betraying feminist principles by engaging in menial labor.”

“Not I!” said the pig.  “That wheat can’t be organic.”

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did. She knew that seeds need water to grow tall and strong. “Who will help me water these seeds?” asked the Little Red Hen.

“Not I!” said the lamb.  “You can’t use the pond water because the endangered snifflefish lives there.”

“Not I!” said the cat.  “The water usage is restricted due to the drought.”

“Not I!” said the pig.  “Your property rights do not extend to the water rights.”

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did. The Little Red Hen watered the soil and waited patiently for the wheat to grow. When the wheat was tall and golden, she knew it was ready to be cut. “Who will help me harvest the wheat?” asked the Little Red Hen.

“Not I!” said the lamb.  “The migrant workers are back for harvest and you’re taking their income.”

“Not I!” said the cat.  “I refuse to assist you in reducing the role of women to that of a farm hand.”

“Not I!” said the pig.  “Obviously the Commerce Clause says you can’t grow the wheat, even for personal consumption.”

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did. The Little Red Hen’s basket was soon filled with wheat. “Who will help me take the wheat to the mill to be ground into flour?” asked the Little Red Hen.

“Not I!” said the lamb. “Transportation of commodities uses fossil fuels.”

“Not I!” said the cat.  “You should be supporting the locavore movement.”

“Not I!” said the pig.  “The miller is a greedy capitalist who exploits workers for huge profits.”

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did. The kind miller ground the wheat into powdery, velvety flour, and the Little Red Hen carried it home in a rough brown sack. “Who will help me make this flour into bread?” asked the Little Red Hen.

“Not I!” said the lamb.  “The FDA hasn’t approved that flour for use in making bread.”

“Not I!” said the cat.  “You’re setting the cause of women back fifty years by exalting domestic servitude.”

“Not I!” said the pig.  “You don’t have a commercial kitchen permitted through your local municipality.”

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did. The Little Red Hen mixed the flour into sticky dough and kneaded it into a smooth loaf. “Who will help me put this bread into the oven to bake?” asked the Little Red Hen.

“Not I!” said the lamb.  “I have to rush off to a protest against the wealthiest 1%.”

“Not I!” said the cat.  “I have to work on my women’s studies thesis.”

“Not I!” said the pig.  “I have to blog about evil corporations and skype into a talk show on my iPad.”

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And so she did. The kitchen filled with the delicious scent of baking bread, and the other animals came to see what was happening. The Little Red Hen took the warm, crusty loaf out of the oven, and set it on the table. “Who will help me eat this fresh, tasty bread?” asked the Little Red Hen.

“I will!” said the lamb.

“I will!” said the cat.

“I will!” said the pig.

“No, you will not,” said the Little Red Hen. “You didn’t help me plant it, or water it, or harvest it, or mill it, or bake it. I shall eat it myself!”

But before she could take one bite, the Little Red Hen was sued for discrimination; investigated by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission; sued and fined by the Environmental Protection Agency; protested by women’s groups, immigrant groups, and the Communist Party; condemned by the local Food Department and her bread seized by the Food and Drug Administration; and had her taxes raised to pay tuition for the women’s studies program, the tents for the protests, the police presence required to monitor the protesters, the food stamps and health care programs for the other animals, urban renewal projects and light rail initiatives, and to pay the interest on the national debt.

  • Pingback: The Little Red Hen, retold for the Age of Occupy « Full Metal Patriot

  • proof

    …and then the Obamas took a day off from burgers and fries to sample some tasty chicken nuggets.

  • Bert Ellis

    Well said – got your point across with delightful humor.

  • John Gaver

    So what did the little red hen do next?

    She took the seeds that she had set aside for an emergency, to another farm yard, in another country that appreciated her initiative and began employing eager and willing foreign labor to grow her wheat and was soon exporting thousands of loaves of bread a day to the USA, making a healthy profit, in the process.

    The lamb, the cat and the pig, from her old farm yard didn’t know it, but the few meager crusts of bread that they were doled out from the government, came from the little red hen’s bakery, in that other country.

    While the lamb, the cat and the pig were always hungry and barely subsisted on government aid, the Little Red Hen retired early and lived happily ever after in her new tropical paradise home.

    The moral of the story is that there are plenty of other farm yards for hens with initiative and if you make it hard on them, they’ll take their initiative and the jobs it creates to another farm yard.

    Another take on this can be found in “The Parable of the Golden Goose” at:

  • Virginia Suiters

    A clear view of what you get with Communism
    Google the Paul Harvey version and read his last comment

    “The Little Red hen never baked any more bread.