The Little Red Hen An Old English Folk Tale

Start from the beginning
                                                  

But the Pig said, "Not I," and the Cat said, "Not I," and the Rat said, "Not I."

[Illustration]

"Well, then," said the Little Red Hen, "I will."

And she did.

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

Then she went on with her daily duties through the long summer days, scratching for worms and feeding her chicks, while the Pig grew fat, and the Cat grew fat, and the Rat grew fat, and the Wheat grew tall and ready for harvest.

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

So one day the Little Red Hen chanced to notice how large the Wheat was and that the grain was ripe, so she ran about calling briskly: "Who will cut the Wheat?"

The Pig said, "Not I," the Cat said, "Not I," and the Rat said, "Not I."

[Illustration: ]

"Well, then," said the Little Red Hen, "I will."

And she did.

[Illustration: ]

She got the sickle from among the farmer's tools in the barn and proceeded to cut off all of the big plant of Wheat.

On the ground lay the nicely cut Wheat, ready to be gathered and threshed, but the newest and yellowest and downiest of Mrs. Hen's chicks set up a "peep-peep-peeping" in their most vigorous fashion, proclaiming to the world at large, but most particularly to their mother, that she was neglecting them.

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

Poor Little Red Hen! She felt quite bewildered and hardly knew where to turn.

Her attention was sorely divided between her duty to her children and her duty to the Wheat, for which she felt responsible.

So, again, in a very hopeful tone, she called out, "Who will thresh the Wheat?"

But the Pig, with a grunt, said, "Not I," and the Cat, with a meow, said, "Not I," and the Rat, with a squeak, said, "Not I."

So the Little Red Hen, looking, it must be admitted, rather discouraged, said, "Well, I will, then."

And she did.

Of course, she had to feed her babies first, though, and when she had gotten them all to sleep for their afternoon nap, she went out and threshed the Wheat. Then she called out: "Who will carry the Wheat to the mill to be ground?"

[Illustration: ]

Turning their backs with snippy glee, that Pig said, "Not I,"

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

and that Cat said, "Not I," and that Rat said, "Not I."

[Illustration]

So the good Little Red Hen could do nothing but say, "I will then." And she did.

Carrying the sack of Wheat, she trudged off to the distant mill. There she ordered the Wheat ground into beautiful white flour. When the miller brought her the flour she walked slowly back all the way to her own barnyard in her own picketty-pecketty fashion.

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

[Illustration: ]

The Little Red Hen An Old English Folk TaleWhere stories live. Discover now