The Real Little Red Hen

 

    Hello, my name is Dog, and my best friends are Duck and Cat. I am going to tell you the truth behind the tale as to Little Red Hen whom I haven’t spoken to since the publication of her accusations against me and my friends.
     For starters, the whole thing began the previous year when I so generously gave Hen some grain to plant from my very own garden. Take note that I was under no obligation to do so. I owed Hen no favors nor had I ever received any gifts from her that may have been construed as a loan or an IOU. A year went by and I forgot about it but all the while that Red Hen was scheming on how to make me look bad. Somewhere in that deranged head of hers Cat and Duck enter the equation but I’m not sure exactly what nice thing they did for Hen to get her mad--it was something, obviously. Anyway planting time rolled around and then out came the seeds of Red Hen and also her instrument of slandering my good name and those good names of my friends as well.
     It began when Cat, Duck, and I were conversing at the bend in the road. As we were talking up came Red Hen ready to spring her trap. So there we are talking and up she saunters with a sly smile that none of us noticed at the time but was the first clue to her evil deeds to come. So like I said up she comes out of the blue and says, “I’m going to plant my grain for some bread who will help me?”
     Cat, Duck, and I all say ‘not I’ in unison and before we can finish Red Hen says, “fine! be that way,” and away she goes without even listening to our explanations. It so happens that I was on my way to a class on fetching sticks. Cat later told me that he had already had an appointment with a piece of catnip and Duck said on the spot that he had something he desperately needed to do to get him out of helping so you can see that we all had important reasons for declining Hen’s request.
     Well, all summer she tends that grain, all the while avoiding us like the plague since the rest of her plan wouldn’t go into action until the grain was ready to pick. Fall rolls around and I decide that enough is enough and go to explain to Hen what had really happened that spring. I told Cat and Duck about it and they agreed to come with me and to tell their side of the story. Well we get there and Hen’s working on harvesting the last of the grain. We sit down in the shade of her Apple Tree and tell her exactly what happened. We finish telling at about the same time as she finishes harvesting. She finally looks at us and says, “so, who’ll help me take it to the mill?”
     Well, just as before we chorused "not I" and just like before, Hen was gone in a flash. Once again she had chosen not to hear why we couldn’t because she knew that if she did it would ruin her accusations against us later. We all had pressing business in the other direction just then but all agreed later that we would have gladly helped later if she had just waited till we returned but, no, not Little Red Hen.
     So we take care of our important business and as fate would have it we run into each other right outside of Hen’s house. We were conversing when Hen sticks her head out the window and says, “Who will help me bake the flour?”
     This time before I could volunteer, Cat and Duck said "not I" and Hen’s head was back inside. I had said nothing and would have gladly helped, having done my chores in the other direction of town. But when I knocked at Hen’s door she didn’t answer so that she couldn’t say later that any of her acquaintances had helped. So I went back to the road and inquired as to the nature of Cat and Duck’s business. They replied that they were now going the other way on more important business. So you see, Hen’s accusations that we were lazy are completely unfair and incorrect and also wrong.
     At Cat’s invitation I accompanied them on their urgent business in the other direction. About an hour later as we were returning they were talking about how glad they were to be through with their important business and that if Hen had any more favors to ask they would gladly help. Just as this was said we reached Hen’s house seeing us she called out, “Who will help me eat the bread?”
     Well, as I just said we were all finished with our business and so said together "I will," but of course now that Hen had all the help she needed she insisted on doing the work herself.
     And that is the story. It would have ended at that if Hen had not gone and published all those lies she told herself in a book. So now, good people, you also know the truth of the Little Red Hen.

Logan (age 14)

 

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