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THE LITTLE RED HEN

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen. She lived with a pig, a duck and a cat.

They all lived in a pretty little house which the little red hen liked to keep clean and tidy. 

 

The little red hen worked hard at her jobs all day. The others never helped. Although they said they meant to, they were all far too lazy. The pig liked to grunt in the mud outside, the duck used to swim in the pond all day, and the cat enjoyed lying in the sun, purring.

 

One day the little red hen was working in the garden when she found a grain of corn.

"Who will plant this grain of corn?" she asked.

"Not I," grunted the pig from his muddy patch in the garden.

"Not I," quacked the duck from her pond.

"Not I," purred the cat from his place in the sun.

So the little red hen went to look for a nice bit of earth, scratched it with her feet and planted the grain of corn.

 

During the summer the grain of corn grew. First it grew into a tall green stalk, then it ripened in the sun until it had turned a lovely golden color. The little red hen saw that the corn was ready for cutting.

"Who will help me cut the corn?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," grunted the pig from his muddy patch in the garden.

"Not I," quacked the duck from her pond.

"Not I," purred the cat from his place in the sun.

"Very well then, I will cut it myself," said the little red hen. 

 

Carefully she cut the stalk and took out all the grains of corn from the husks.

"Who will take the corn to the mill, so that it can be ground into flour?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," grunted the pig from his muddy patch in the garden.

"Not I," quacked the duck from her pond.

"Not I," purred the cat from his place in the sun.

So the little red hen took the corn to the mill herself, and asked the miller if he would be so kind as to grind it into flour.

 

In time, the little red hen returned with a little bag of flour.

"Who will help me to make the flour into bread?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," grunted the pig from his muddy patch in the garden.

"Not I," quacked the duck from her pond.

"Not I," purred the cat from his place in the sun.

"Very well," said the little red hen. "I shall make the bread myself." 

 

She went into her neat little kitchen and mixed the flour into dough.

Soon, the little red hen could open the oven door and take out the nicest, most delicious looking loaf of bread any of them had ever seen.

"Who is going to eat this bread?" asked the little red hen.

"I will," grunted the pig and wobbled out of his muddy patch in the garden

"I will," quacked the duck, and flew up from the pond.

"I will," purred the cat and left his place in the sun.

"Oh no, you won't," said the little red hen. "I planted the seed, I cut the corn, I took it to the mill to be made into flour, and I made the bread, all by myself. I shall now eat the loaf all by myself.»

 

When the little red hen was done eating, there was still plenty of bread. Suddenly she heard sad sounds outside.

It was the pig, the duck and the cat. Now they understood that they should have helped their friend with baking the bread.

 

The little red hen was packed full and said to herself, «I have plenty of bread, but what i do not want, is sad friends».

 

She took the bread outside to her friends and said: «The next time I find a grain of corn, everyone must help».

«Yesss, we promise», the other animals said.

Now, they could all finally eat the bread, and the next time a grain of corn turned up at the farm, everyone joined in, and helped each other.

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