Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Little Red Hen - A Social Syndrome

 The Little Red Hen is a well known old English folk tale with a moral. It teaches the importance of helping and being unselfish - If you don't help to make the bread you don't get to eat it!

Dr Abe V Rotor

Once upon a time there was a little red hen that lived in a farmyard, and one day found some grains of wheat which she took to the other animals in the farmyard – cat, rat, pig. He asked who of them can help her plant the grains of wheat. None wanted to, so the little red hen planted the grains, and the plants grew tall and strong until it was time to harvest them.

Again he asked her companions if they are willing to help. Just like before, none of them was. So the little red hen did the harvesting. And she did all the work – brought the grains to the miller and to the baker, and when the bread was baked he asked her friends, “Who will help me eat the bread?”

“I will,” said the cat.

“I will,” said the rat.

“I will,” said the pig.

“No you will not,” intoned the little red hen. “I shall eat it myself.” So she did.

The Little Red Hen and the Grains of Wheat is a modern fable which evolved into philosophy that touches sensitive issues of modern living such as capitalism and socialism. Animal Farm by George Orwell may be different in presentation and philosophical connotation, from the traditional style of a fable. It is a socio-economic and political thesis in the guise of animals acting like humans do under a system which they themselves created.

Even as Aesop fables are taking a new dimension as viewed in a changing world, the essence is as fresh as ever. All one needs to realize them as relevant as they were in Aesop’s time is simply to reflect on them himself. For human character and behavior have not really changed since then. ~

References: Goldsmith O (1973) - Treasury of Aesop’s Fables Avenel Books, NY 139 pp
Stuart M (1974) A First Book of Aesop’s Fables (Vol 1 and 2) Ladybird Books

Trivia: Are the following examples considered as fables? (True or False)
1. Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang)
2. Story of Maria Makiling
3. Noah’s Ark
4. The House of Seven Gables
5. The Prodigal Son

Thirteen (13) callers gave their specific answers to the these questions. Four of them got the correct answers – all false. The rest answered one or two correctly. What would be your answer to each? Send to Comments of this Blog.

NOTE: Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized (given human qualities, such as the ability to speak human language) and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim.

A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind. A person who writes fables is a fabulist.(Wikipedia)

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