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little red hen story...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
... that you may remember from reading in grade school. One of those tales, like Aesops' Fables, meant to be absorbed as wisdom for the ages. Intended to serve as instruction for the youthful, who, while they are mesmerized by hearing of talking animals, will hopefully, ultimately, come to grasp the 'moral' of industrious labor, versus being a lazy ner'-do-well.

If the basic premise escapes your memory: (I have not read it in fifty years, so no need to correct me if this is not 100%, as I am just thinking about the end and presuming to get the basics in order...)  She planted, watered, weeded and harvested the grain to make a loaf of bread. All the laggards and lazybones that she encountered in the course of her efforts would not be persuaded to provide assistance. When she harvested her wheat to take it to the miller, they lounged and laughed. She went  home to bake,and they all scoffed. When she was ready to eat her bread, they all showed up with their bibs tied around their neck, but she declined all their offers of help.

This tale and others, likely take many forms in folk tales around the world, as varied cultures will retell the basic story using native wildlife, adapting to different environments. Being told by the elders through the centuries as a way of passing along wisdom to the next generations, handed down over the years in traditional oral histories before people stored words in written form. And the idea behind the tales, teaching youth to value time spent listening, absorbing the wisdom, and developing character needed for mature living, still applies today.

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