EDITOR’S NOTE: Behind the Pine Curtain is a series of anecdotes collected and edited by Herald-Press Publisher Gary Connor.
“Who will help me plant my wheat?” asked the little red hen.
“Not I,” said the cow.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the pig.
“Not I,” said the goose.
“Then I will do it by myself.” She planted her crop and the wheat grew and ripened.
“Who will help me harvest my wheat?” asked the little red hen.
“Not in my union contract,” said the cow.
“Not in my job description,” said the duck.
“I’d lose my seniority,” said the pig.
“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” said the goose.
“Then I will do it by myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did.
“Who will help me bake the bread?” asked the little red hen.
“That would be overtime for me,” said the cow.
“If I’m to be the only helper, that’s discrimination,” said the duck.
“That might void my Lone Star Card,” said the pig.
“I might lose my welfare benefits,” said the goose.
“Then I will do it by myself,” said the little red hen.
She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share but the little red hen said, “No, I shall eat all five loaves. None of you worked to help me plant, harvest or bake the bread.”
“Excess profits!” cried the cow.
“Capitalist leech!” screamed the duck.
“I demand equal rights!” yelled the pig.
“I am entitled!” shouted the goose.
And they all painted “Unfair!” picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.
When farmer Barry came he said to the little red hen, “You must not be so greedy.”
“But I earned the bread,” said the little red hen. “I planted the wheat then reaped it and I baked the bread all by myself!”
“Exactly,” said Barry the farmer. “That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants.
But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle. It’s call redistribution of wealth.”
And, everyone in the barnyard was happy, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, for now I truly understand.”
But, her neighbors became quite disappointed in her for she never planted or harvested wheat or baked bread again because she joined the “party” so she, too, could receive her bread free. And all the Socialists smiled. “Fairness” had been established.
Individual initiative had died, but nobody noticed; perhaps no one cared as long as there was free bread.