Tonight, Clara requested I read her “The Little Red Hen” as a bed time story. This is a classic tale about a chicken on a farm that plants and harvest wheat so she can make a loaf of bread. Every step of the way she asks for help from her friends the pig, the duck and the cat, but they repeatedly refuse to help, lounging on fences and playing guitar in the sun while she works. In the end the hen doesn’t share the bread with them. They can be seen on the last page frowning through the window while the hen eats the bread with her family. I like this story. I like to think that there are some very good points in it about the value of hard work, and the importance of helping others.
Clara apparently disagrees. Tonight she was particularly vocal about her opinions concerning the hen and her treatment of her friends. On every page she was quick to defend the animals that were not helping.
– “But the hen only has one of those cutting things. How are they supposed to help her cut the wheat? Just pull on it? It doesn’t make sense.”
– “I don’t know why she wants help carrying the wheat to the mill. The duck doesn’t even have hands, he would just drop it anyway. Why would she even ask him? Isn’t that mean to ask when she knows he can’t even help?”
– “She only has one little loaf of bread, why is she asking for three other animals to help her put it in the oven? The hen is just being lazy. The job only needs one person to do it, right? She needs to just do it.”
– “It’s not nice that the hen only shares the bread with her chicks and not with the pig and the duck and the cat. Her chicks didn’t help her make the bread either, why do they get to share. She should be sharing it with all of them.”
I was too tired to debate the actions of a pretend chicken with a 4-year, so I passively dismissed most of her questions and comments. But I’m a little concerned about what kind of socialist agenda has been brainwashing my daughter into attacking the working class chicken in defense of the freeloader pig and duck tier of society.