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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Little Red Hen

In 1976, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan narrowly lost the Republican presidential nomination to President Gerald Ford. In the late 1970s, Reagan had a 30-minute daily radio commentary. (As president, Reagan originated the Saturday radio address, which has been emulated by every president since Reagan.) One of those radio programs I remember from the late '70s was a debate between Reagan and his daughter Maureen on the so-called Equal Rights Amendment. She was pro-ERA and he was anti-ERA.

I also recall a program on which Reagan told the story of the Little Red Hen. The allegory is self-evident.


Once there was a Little Red Hen who lived in a barnyard with her three chicks and a duck, a pig and a cat.

One day the Little Red Hen found some grains of wheat. "Look look!" she clucked. "Who will help me plant this wheat?"

"Not I", quacked the duck, and he waddled away.

"Not I", oinked the pig, and he trotted away.

"Not I, meowed the cat, and he padded away.

"Then I will plant it myself," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

When the wheat was tall and golden, the Little Red Hen knew it was ready to be cut. "Who will help me cut the wheat?" she asked.

"Not I," said the duck.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the cat

"Then I will cut this wheat myself". And she did.

"Now", said the Little Red Hen, "it is time to take the wheat to the miller so he can grind it into flour. Who will help me?"

"Not I," said the duck.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the cat.

"Then I will take the wheat to the miller myself," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

The miller ground the wheat into fine white flour and put it into a sack for the Little Red Hen.

When she returned to the barnyard, the Little Red Hen asked, "Who will help me make this flour into dough?"

Not I," said the duck, the pig and the cat all at once.

"Then I will make the dough myself," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

When the dough was ready to go into the oven, the Little Red Hen asked, "Who will help me bake the bread?"

"Not I," said the duck.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the cat.

"Then I wll bake it myself," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

Soon the bread was ready. As she took it from the oven, the Little Red Hen asked, "Well, who will help me eat this warm, fresh bread?"

"I will," said the duck.

"I will," said the pig.

"I will," said the cat.

"No you won't," said the Little Red Hen. "You wouldn't help me plant the seeds, cut the wheat, go to the miller, make the dough or bake the bread. Now, my three chicks and I will eat this bread ourselves!"

And that's just what they did.

(A Golden Book, New York) Western Publishing Company, Inc, Racine, WI 53404

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