The Filthy Little Red Hen

The Filthy Little Red Hen

by Simon Black

There was once a little red hen who wanted help planting her wheat seed so she asked our president.

“Sure, little red hen, I’ll help ya,” said our president.  “But first, I’ll have to see your papers.”

“Papers?” said the little red hen.  She didn’t know what those were.

“Your citizenship papers,” explained our president.  “Papers please!”

He seemed to be getting a little angry, so the little red hen tried to run away.

“Get her!” cried the president.  “Send her back to where she came from.  And get her children, too.”

“Wait a minute, Mr. President,” complained the little red hen.  “Isn’t there due process?  Can I see a lawyer?  Will I appear in court?”

“No,” said our president.  “I’ve done away with all that.  You will be taken back to the border and deposited there.  We don’t need a lengthy, expensive legal process.”

“The border?  Where is that?”

“It’s at the end of our country,” explained the president.  “It’s where our country ends and another country begins.  And it’s where I’ve built a giant imaginary wall.”

“I see,” said the little red hen.  “Maybe I can plant my wheat seed there!”

“Sure, if you survive.  There’s lotsa bad hombres down there, trust me.  It’s not the best people.”

“Oh, I see, so the best people are the ones in this country?”

“You be they are,” explained our president.  “The very best in the world.”

The red hen was sad then, to be leaving a place where the best people in the world lived.

“Can’t I stay here, Mr. President,” she begged.  “I’ve got little chicks to feed, after all.”

“Well, I got some good news about your little chicks,” said the president.  “If this was yesterday they would have been taken from you.  But as of today, you can all stay together.”

“Hooray!” cried the little red hen.  “Thank you so much Mr. President.”

“Well, don’t thank me, thank my wife,” said the president.

“I really don’t care, do you?” said the president’s wife.

“Oh, I care a great deal,” said the little red hen.  “These are my little chicks.  And that’s why I was going to plant this little seed.   So I could grow some wheat and then mill it and so forth and so on and you know the rest of the story, don’t you?  I think it’s a Russian folk story.  You seem Russian.  Are you Russian?”

“There’s no Russian story,” said the president.  “That’s fake news, isn’t it, wife?”

“I really don’t care, do you,” she said again.  I guess that is all she knew how to say in English.

“So put your chicks in the back of this van here and I will drive you back to the border,” said the president.

“Okay, Mr. President.”

The president drove and the little red hen sat in the front seat next to him.  At one point the president looked over and said, “And by the way, you’re filthy.”


“Yes,” he said.  “You’re a filthy little red hen.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” asked the little red hen. 

“What do you think?” asked the president, rolling his eyes at her.

“I guess it’s a bad thing to be a filthy little red hen,” ventured the little red hen. 

The president pulled the van up to a great big imaginary wall and let the little red hen and her chicks out, pushing her onto the other side of the imaginary wall.

“But remember, you are welcome to apply to come to our country legally, even though you are filthy.”

“Really!” exclaimed the little red hen. “And my little chicks too?”

“Sure, your little chicks, too.”

So that’s what the little red hen did.  She applied to come back to this country legally.  But her application was rejected.  So she did something else instead.  She planted her little seed on the other side of the wall and it grew bigger and bigger and bigger until one day she was able to climb all the way up to the top of the stalk and climb over the imaginary wall with her chicks.

Then, since she liked to cook and bake bread, she started a little restaurant near the nation’s capital, as it happens, and it went on to become quite successful.  Then one day the president’s number one secretary came to the little red hen’s restaurant for dinner.  And the little red hen didn’t know who it was so she made a great big meal for the president’s number one secretary and was about to serve it, when someone said, “That’s the president’s number one secretary out there.”

The little red hen was worried.  She went out to speak to the president’s number one secretary.

“I don’t think your boss would like you to eat in my restaurant,” she explained to the secretary.  “After all, he told me I was filthy and he tried to get rid of me.  You wouldn’t want to eat at a filthy red hen’s restaurant, would you?”

“I guess not,” said the secretary.   And she left with her friends.

So then the little red hen wondered what to do with all the food. 

“I know,” said the little red hen.  

And so the little red hen and her chicks ate all the food that the little red hen had worked so hard to make, by growing her business and toiling day after day in a country that really thought she was filthy.   But the food didn’t taste filthy at all. 

“Yum, yum, yum,” said the little red hen.  Because it all just tasted so delicious.







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