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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

The Little Red Hen

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

The Little Red Hen baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see.

They all wanted some; in fact, they demanded bread. The Little Red Hen offered to share a loaf of her bread if the others would help clean the kitchen.

This essay is available in its entirety to all visitors. Enjoy!

Our story this week involves sex, greed, gluttony, lies, barnyard animals, and personal failings - you could think of it as a Clinton Administration retrospective.

Variations of "The Little Red Hen" fable are all over cyberspace. But this version has been sitting in our library since long before Al Gore created the Internet. Though we have updated it to reflect the 21st century climate.

Once upon a time, there was a Little Red Hen who uncovered some grains of wheat while scratching in the barnyard. She called to her neighbors and said, "If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?"

"Not I," said the Mouse. "That's not in my job description."

"I will," said the Pig. "But only on alternate Tuesday mornings. I suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder; the government has said that I do not have to work fulltime."

"Not I," said the Duck. "The Department of Interior may designate this area as a wetland. Do you want to destroy the ecological balance of our barnyard? And by the way, has the Food and Drug Administration approved you planting this wheat? Are you sure you are allowed to do that?"

"Are those irradiated grains?" the Cat demanded to know. "I want no part of that."

"Not I," said the Crow. He explained the farmyard's owner was being paid a large sum of money by the Department of Agriculture for not planting wheat.

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen; and she did.

In time, the wheat grew tall and ripened into luscious golden grain.

"Who will help me harvest 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 Horse. "Besides, the mill hasn't been inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in years. Going in there could be hazardous to my health."

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen; and 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 Goose.

"I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the Duck.

"Baking bread will add to global warming," said the Goat. "You are destroying the earth!"

"I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the Skunk.

"If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the Rabbit.

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

The Little Red Hen baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see.

They all wanted some; in fact, they demanded bread. The Little Red Hen offered to share a loaf of her bread if the others would help clean the kitchen.

"No fair!" yelled the Cow, stomping on the ground. "Excess profits! We will set the price for your bread, not you!"

"Capitalist leech!" cried the Duck. "That's price gouging!"

"I demand equal rights!" shouted the Goose.

The Pig grunted and exclaimed, "No justice, no peace!" They hurriedly painted "unfair" picket signs and marched around, shouting obscenities; they demanded immediate redress from the government.

So a government official came and said to the Little Red Hen, "You must not be greedy; you must be fair."

"But I earned the bread," said the Little Red Hen.

"Exactly," said the government official. "That is the wonderful free-enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under government regulations, the most productive workers must divide their product with others. You have way too much bread. (And besides, you drive a brand new Lexus.) You must share the wealth. We will investigate your wealth and means test your circumstances to determine how much bread you may keep. And they did.

And so it came to pass; the Little Red Hen had done 95% of the work, but got to keep only 10% of the bread. Still, the government official pointed out that it was more than any other animal got to keep. Many thought she was way too greedy. The New York Times printed several editorials pointing this out. Her neighbors would snear at the Little Red Hen as she scratched in the barnyard.

And they all lived... but not exactly happily ever after. The Little Red Hen's neighbors wondered why she never baked any more bread.

The Missing Reference

Soooooo, where's the sex we promised at the top of the page, you ask? We forgot to mention: Monica.... she's the Goat.


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