Broken-down Poetry: The Little Red Hen, retold


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Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Little Red Hen, retold

Once upon a time there was a Little Red Hen that was a communication major at a small private university in central Indiana.

The Little Red Hen lived among other farm animals and worked with them too. One day the farmer assigned the Little Red Hen and several other animals the task of baking bread. She went to work.

"Who will help me plant the wheat?" asked the Little Red Hen.

"Not I," said the pig. "I have too much homework."

"Not I," said the cat. "I forget how."

"Not I," said the dog. "I'm not very good at that."

"Then I will plant the wheat myself," said the Little Red Hen, and she did! She dug up the earth with her claws, planted seeds and buried them in dirt. The wheat started to grow.

"Who will help me water the wheat?" asked the Little Red Hen.

"Not I," said the pig. "I have something else due that day."

"Not I," said the cat. "My schedule's really tight."

The dog never checked his email.

"Then I will water the wheat myself," said the Little Red Hen, and she did! She carried the bucket between her beak all the way from the well up the hill to her garden. She poured the water on her own. The wheat began to grow, and it was time to harvest it.

"Who will help me harvest the wheat?" asked the Little Red Hen.

"Not I," said the pig. "Uh, sorry."

"Not I," said the cat. "Wish I could."

"Not I," said the dog. "Whoops."

"Then I will harvest the wheat myself," said the Little Red Hen, and she did! She carried her machete from the barn all the way up to the garden. She used her beak to thrash the machete against the wheat. She carried it to her kitchen. There the Little Red Hen threshed the wheat all on her own, not asking for help, knowing she wouldn't get any.

"Who will help me bake the bread?" asked the Little Red Hen, one more time.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the cat.

"Not I," said the dog.

"Then I'll bake the bread myself," said the Little Red Hen, and she did! She scooped out flour; scooped out yeast; poured water; poured milk; stirred it all together. She popped it in the oven with her feathered hands and watched it bake. Mmm! And it smelled delicious!

The pig, the cat and the dog came in to admire the Little Red Hen's work. Their mouths gaped open in awe.

"Who will help me eat the bread?" asked the Little Red Hen.

"I will!" said the pig.

"I will!" said the cat.

"I will!" said the dog.

The Little Red Hen put her wings to her hips and replied: "You did not help me plant the wheat. You did not help me water the wheat. You did not help me thresh it or bake it into bread either. And now, I will eat the bread myself!" And she would have ...

... Except, just then, the farmer came in, admired the bread, patted the pig, cat, dog and the Little Red Hen on the back and gave them each an equal slice.

"Good job," said the farmer. "A's for everyone!"

The End.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: I hate group projects.


Anonymous said...

Although well-written, and I can see maybe where you are coming from in your frustration, you may want to consider that you are being selfish. If you call yourself a Christian (? your other entries hint you might be, you mention God) but from what I understand, -not to call you a hypocrite- but aren't christians all about serving others and not complaining and doing everything unto the lord and loving your neighbors and enemies?
and maybe there was a reason why they weren't pulling their weight. you can't just point the finger. coming from a guy who does point a bit more than I'd like to admit.
if you're upset, maybe you should tell those group member to their face. i think if they read this it would only make them feel hated by you.
but those are just my thoughts.

Lauren said...

First of all, thank you. :)

Yes, this comes from my frustrations. But this isn't just about one instance - which could make this seem much crueler than intended. It seems like every group project I've been in ever - high school or college - has ended the same way. Some people just don't pull their weight.

You have pointed out the dilemma I've been facing all semester. I believe in Grace. I believe that we should extend Grace to people the way Christ did. But does that mean being walked over? Does that mean carrying others' weight? Maybe. I'm not entirely convinced of that. Maybe this speaks more to my humanness than anything. I am a perfectionist; I expect people to put forth as much effort - or more effort - than I do. It's about pride more than anything. :(

But thank you. Like I said, this is something I've been mulling over all semester. I know I can't escape group projects - even in the work world - but I can adjust my attitude.