The story of the Little Red Hen is based on an old Russian folk tale. It was popularised when it became the basis for the fifth Little Golden Books published in 1942. The story was used by Ronald Reagan as an economic moral story. However, very few people want to live entirely at the expense of others, as most people have to work for their living. The following is a version of the story which is more realistic from an economic perspective.
One summer day, the little red hen found some grains of wheat that her mother had hidden many years before.
“Wheat” the little red hen said, “I plant it”.
She asked the duck, “Will you plant these grains of wheat for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the duck. The duck tilled the soil and planted the wheat.
The rain fell, the sun shone, and the wheat grew. One day it was ready to be harvested.
The little red hen asked the goose, “Will you harvest this crop of wheat for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the goose. The goose harvested all the wheat, separating the grain from the chaff. He brought sack of wheat to the little red hen.
The little red hen asked the pig, “Will you grind this wheat into flour for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the pig. The pig took the sack of wheat to the miller who ground the wheat into flour. The pig brought several bags of flour back to the little red hen.
The little red hen asked the dog, “Will you knead this flour into dough for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the dog. The dog took the some flour and added some yeast. The dog kneaded the dough until it has risen.
The little red hen asked the cat, “Will you bake this dough into bread for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the cat. The cat took gathered some sticks to heat the oven and baked the dough until the bread was cooked. The cat took a large loaf of bread and gave it to the little red hen.
As the little red hen got out the knife to slice the bread, the duck, the goose, the pig, the cat and the dog all gathered around. The little red hen cut the loaf into thirty thin slices. She gave a slice to the duck, a slice to the goose, a slice to the pig, the slice to the dog, a slice to the cat, and took 25 slice for herself.
And they all lived happily ever after.