This pandemic has turned my husband and I into the Little Red Hen (rooster and hen?). You know the story:
The Little Red Hen wants to make some bread. She lives in the Barnyard with other farm animals, and is always keeping busy. She finds some wheat seeds and plants them. Along the way she asks her barnyard friends if they would like to help. “Who will help me plant the seeds?”, “Who will help me water the seeds?” and so on.
At each step along the way each of the other animals (the cow, the sheep, the horse……..) has an excuse for not helping. “Not I said the cow, not I said the sheep…….”.
Eventually the Little Red Hen harvests the wheat, grinds the wheat and bakes the bread. When it is time to eat the bread the farm animals want to share it – but should she share the bread when she did all the work herself?
During this pandemic my husband and I have been keeping busy with back to basic tasks. We brew beer, grow our own vegetables, bake our own bread and make homemade pasta. I will soon be making my own cheese – (not sure how that’s going to turn out, but it should be fun).
I can’t say that we’ve grown our own wheat or ground it, even though it seems like a good idea, but I did buy some locally grown and ground flour from down the road, so I feel like the hen!
I can’t say that there are a lot of good things about this pandemic, but I can say it has given us time to think about where the things we consume come from. I am quite sure that it’s better to buy everything locally, and it is one of my goals this year to do better on this.
It’s all good for me to say this though, because I have the time to spare to work on this and to try to make things at home. I appreciate that this is not the norm for everybody else.
It’s also easy for us to get grumpy with our young adults who stop in and don’t wake up as early as we do to shovel the snow or put the garbage out. That doesn’t mean we won’t share the bread with them!
When the Little Red Hen finished baking the bread, she asked her barnyard friends if they wanted to try some. They all said yes, BUT SHE SAID “NO! You didn’t help along the way!” – and ate the bread herself!
What is the Lesson from The Little Red Hen?
I was enjoying reading several reviews of the story, which generally stated that The Little Red Hen teaches us that we need to help with the work along the way in order to share in the results. I laughed when I read a few that said the hen never wanted any help, and didn’t want to share anyway!
I think that sometimes people (me included) get a little grumpy and refuse help when really they just want to make a point. “See, I did this all by myself!”………..
In another version of the story, the hen was accused of being a capitalist by her barnyard friends, and had to share the bread even though she did all the work – I think there were some political messages in that one!
I think that the Little Red Hen could share the bread, but suggest that the barnyard gang help her out by washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. I know that there is flour everywhere in my kitchen these days, and I am thankful that we have plenty of bread to share and people to share it with.