Little Red Hen

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little red hen
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My Interest

Little Red Hen found a grain of wheat.

“Who will plant this?” she asked.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Not I,” said the goose.

“Not I,” said the rat.

“Then I will,” said Little Red Hen.

little red hen 2So she buried the wheat in the ground. After a while it grew up yellow and ripe.

“The wheat is ripe now,” said Little Red Hen. “Who will cut and thresh it?”

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Not I,” said the goose.

“Not I,” said the rat.

“Then I will,” said Little Red Hen.

little red hen 3

So she cut it with her bill and threshed it with her wings. Then she asked, “Who will take this wheat to the mill?”

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Not I,” said the goose.

“Not I,” said the rat.

“Then I will,” said Little Red Hen.

little red hen 4

So she took the wheat to the mill, where it was ground. Then she carried the flour home.

little red hen 5“Who will make me some bread with this flour?” she asked.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Not I,” said the goose.

“Not I,” said the rat.

“Then I will,” said Little Red Hen.

little red hen 6

So she made and baked the bread.

Then she said, “Now we shall see who will eat this bread.”

“We will,” said cat, goose, and rat.

“I am quite sure you would,” said Little Red Hen, “if you could get it.”

Then she called her chicks, and they ate up all the bread. There was none left at all for the cat, or the goose, or the rat.

little red hen after eating bread with chicks

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- Total nr. of readings: 339,322 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

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42 thoughts on “Little Red Hen

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  3. T Vadear

    This is a remarkable story of missed opportunities. Too many today expect something for nothing or putting forth no effort but expect the same that others get that did put forth the effort. If the next page were to be written today the mouse, goose, and rat would give excuses for failing to help and demand that the hen shares with them.

  4. meshe

    I am wondering who the author of these words is? I recorded a video for fun of me and my sister reading this. I wanted to credit the author. Thanks very much, meshe

    1. TheAdmin

      Hi Meshe,
      That’s a nice idea to do. I hope you and your sister enjoyed doing it, it’s a great story.
      The original author is unknown as it was an old folk tale. You can read more about the history of the story here:
      It appears the story was first written down in a magazine by Mary Mapes Dodge in 1874.

  5. Mary

    Another aspect to consider:
    Is Little Red Hen too self reliant and not inclusive?
    She asks “who will” instead of “let’s all” and is then resentful and punitive when she feels let down

    1. Anita Mary Becker

      -not “too self-reliant” to ask others if they will help
      -“who will” includes everyone who wants to, according to their own desire-i
      -if she said, “Let’s all”, people would accuse her of acting like she was in charge
      -“Now we shall see who will eat this bread” is just a statement of fact…she is not mean; just providing for her own
      -the other animals punished themselves by lifting a hand to provide

  6. Diane Slingerland

    I love this story! In today’s day and age, many individuals have an air of entitlement about them, like they have rights to everything. Some people have become very demanding, and then are hurt and angry when others do not give in to their requests. Without working towards a joint effort in creating and committing to peer or familial relationships or strengthening family bonds by working together in the challenges of daily life as a unit, i believe there should be no freebies. One needs to appreciate that there is more grace and humility in giving, rather than placing demands and taking. This is a great story one can use to teach this valuable life lesson to even the youngest child who loves to have stories read to them!

    1. Jane Eaton

      I absolutely agree. As a woman alone at age 64 my daughter would often get in horrible moods with me if I couldn’t baby sit but her and husband were never there to give me a hand. I often felt like the little red hen…there to plant a garden and to cook and sways the takers at end of my hard work

  7. Gal Walker

    The lesson this story teaches is one of the most valuable of my life and I wholly believe in what it teaches about working for what you earn.
    I am seriously considering distributing this to a small entitled group of employees at my company. This was in my library as a child and was considered a primary part of that library because it helped teach a virtue vital to the survival of life as we know it in our great land of liberty. Valuing the benefits your efforts reap and working well with others to attain valuable goals so you can benefit from your efforts together, caring about being a part of producing positive results is what makes the wheels of our society turn in a positive direction.
    I run a mid-sized company. Our employees are, the vast majority of the time, kind and helpful people. Recently, we had a contest and allowed some to voluntarily opt-out of participation if they didn’t want to be involved. Those who participated put a lot of effort into their part of making their department the most successful. When the winning department was announced, those who opted not to participate were insulted and complained to the rafters because they didn’t receive a piece of the prize.
    Do you think it was unfair to exclude them from the prize?

    1. Gusti B

      Heck no…!!! Jjust like the Lottery: “If you don’t play you can’t win.” Just common sense…or so you’d think.

  8. Michelle

    It is so cute . i read it to my kindergarten at work ,they loved it .. I asked if they would Help the Little Red Hen .. They said YES!! It would be So FUN. Ms Michelle ..Such a cute story .

  9. Linda

    I remember this book from my youth and the years I taught first grade. I thought of using it to teach the value of staying connected to Jesus (The Bread of Life) by going to mass and investing in a relationship with Him. I cant wait to use it next month.

  10. Ramona

    Read it to your children nightly. Read it to the millennial teens around you. Some want to reap the rewards but never involved in the work. Read it to those confused about free, free, free. I’ve always loved this story.

  11. Linda

    Very very good story. I read this to my millennial friends who I just hope will understand the morals and be able to reap the benefits to their morality

  12. Elizabeth Flynn

    It was read to me as a child. The moral of it I never forgot. I could never find the book when rearing my children . Now 55 years later I googled it to see if it was still a fashionable story and wow ! I found it …..

  13. Scar

    I’ve always loved this story. I recently had to use this story to teach an adult why their unproductive ways caused strife in the household. They wanted to reap benefits of other’s hard work without contributing.

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  15. Angela Prince

    Love this story. Moral of the story laziness won’t get you anywhere in life. And you will reap the rewards from working hard. Also willing to help when needed.

  16. Eric

    Millennials commonly despise this story. So sad that so many think they don’t really have to work.
    It’s on you Hillary and Bernie!

  17. Dinesh V

    Very good story for children, Moral of the story is so good that ” Hard work always pays” and such stories always appreciated


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