A fable for our time?, Part 1

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

A shorter, updated version of George Orwell’s dystopian classic, Animal Farm.


Once upon a time a little red hen called all of her neighbors together and said, “If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”

“Not I,” said the cow.

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the goose.

“Then I will do it myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did. In time the wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain.

“Who will help me harvest the wheat?” asked the little red hen.

“I’d lose my seniority,” said the cow.

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Above my pay grade,” said the pig.

“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” said the goose.

“Then I will do it myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did.

After the grain had been harvested and ground into flour it was 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 myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did.

She baked five loaves of bread and after they were finished, all of her neighbors demanded that she give them some. But the little red hen said, “No, since I made the bread I shall eat all five loaves.” And so she did.

“Excess profits!” cried the cow.

“Capitalist leech!” screamed the duck.

The pig just grunted in disdain.

“I demand equal rights!” yelled the goose.

All of her neighbors painted ‘Unfair!’ picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities at her.

Then the farmer walked into the barnyard and scolded the little red hen, “You must not be so greedy.”

“But I worked hard without any help and earned the bread myself,” protested the little red hen.

“Exactly,” said the farmer. “That is what makes our free market system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as they want. But under our modern government system, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are unproductive, lazy, or idle. After all, it’s only fair.”

The little red hen smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, for now I truly understand.”

But her neighbors were upset that the little red hen never again baked bread. Instead, she signed up for the free government bread and joined her friends the cow, the duck, the pig and the goose. One by one all the bread bakers followed the example of the little red hen, and stopped baking bread. Soon there was no more bread and everyone was hungry.

The farmer smiled. Fairness and equality had finally been established in the barnyard.

SOURCE: Unknown

2 Responses

  1. My name on twitter is “ghostoftherepub,” although since I have only a few followers, I rarely tweet.

  2. I appreciate both the kind words and the constructive comment. The website launched in February so there are only 20 or so blog entries…but I add additional content every week so I hope you will come again!

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