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The Little Red Hen in America
Once upon a time, on a farm in Virginia, there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered quite a few grains of wheat. She 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 by myself," said the little red hen and so she did.
The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain. "Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen.
"Not I," said the duck.
"Out of my classification," said the pig.
"I'd lose my seniority," said the cow.
"I'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the goose.
"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen, and so she did.
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. She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see.
They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, "No, I shall eat all five loaves."
"Excess profits!" cried the cow.
"Capitalist leech!" screamed the duck.
"I demand equal rights!" yelled the goose.
The pig just grunted in disdain.
And they all painted "Unfair!" picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.
Then a government agent came. He said to the little red hen, "You must not be so greedy."
"But I earned the bread," said the little red hen.
"Exactly," said the agent. "That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle."
And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, for now I truly understand."
But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread, because she joined the "party" and got her bread free. And all the Democrats smiled. "Fairness" had been established. Individual initiative had died, but nobody noticed; perhaps no one cared ... so long as there was free bread that "the rich" were paying for.
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Is this a great barnyard, or what?
Story Number 57