The Little Red Hen as told by Ronald Reagan


In light of my recent video post on capitalism and its comparison to socialism and the ensueing mention of the principle of The Little Red Hen, I recalled hearing Ronald Reagan tell a great version of that story. I went searching and I found a video of Reagan telling the story as well as a transcript of it and thought I would share it with my readers. First the video, then the transcript…

“About a year ago I imposed a little poetry on you. It was called “The Incredible Bread Machine” and made a lot of sense with reference to matters economic. You didn’t object too much so having gotten away with it once I’m going to try again. This is a little treatise on basic economics called “The Modern little Red Hen.”

Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. She called her neighbors and said ‘If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?’

“Not I, ” said the cow.

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the goose.

“Then I will,” said the little red hen. And she did. The wheat grew tall and ripened into golden grain. “Who will help me reap my wheat?” asked the little red hen.

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Out of my classification,” said the pig.

“I’d lose my seniority,” said the cow.

“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” said the goose.

“Then I will,” said the little red hen, and she did.

At last the time came to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake bread?” asked the little red hen.

“That would be overtime for me,” said the cow.

“I’d lose my welfare benefits,” said the duck.

“I’m a dropout and never learned how,” said the pig.

“If I’m to be the only helper, that’s discrimination,” said the goose.

“Then I will,” said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for the neighbors to see.

They all wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, “No, I can eat the five loaves myself.”

“Excess profits,” cried the cow.

“Capitalist leech,” screamed the duck.

“I demand equal rights,” yelled the goose.

And the pig just grunted.

And they painted “unfair” picket signs and marched round and around the little red hen shouting obscenities.

When the government agent came, he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”

“But I earned the bread,” said the little red hen.

“Exactly,” said the agent. “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations productive workers must divide their products with the idle.”

And they lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked any more bread.”


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This entry was posted in Conservatism, Current Issues, Ethics, Government, Ronald Reagan, Satire and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Little Red Hen as told by Ronald Reagan

  1. Otis P. Driftwood says:

    Ron certainly had a a way with words. I miss his eloquence.

    • You know, I was a Dem when I was younger… I was born in ’73 so I was just a kid during Reagan’s years but I still remember thinking he was a bad guy for being a Republican. My! How times have changed! My mom is a staunch Conservative(she was the liberal that I grew up learning Democratic opinion from) today and it is a photo-finish to see who is further from where we once stood years ago. I have read as much of Reagan’s words, his diary, watched videos of him, and read all of his speeches… he was a man of tremendous honor, integrity, morals, and under-stated brilliance. I wish that I had “known” him better years ago but I’m all the better for knowing him today. The left tries very hard to diminish his character or his policies in rhetoric but when you learn about the man from his own words, he was a great man and a terrific leader. He handled everything that was thrown at him straight away with the utmost imperative that we are an exceptionally great nation… not one that has to apologize to the world. It’s one thing to be humble and another to simply run around discrediting your nation everywhere you go. Why the lefties cling to this Obama clown has more to do with their inability to admit that they are full-blown socialists and communists than it does with them supporting a Democratic leader. But then again, the Democratic Party is nothing more than socialists now anyways. I just wish that they would be honest about it instead of pretending to love America as they rewrite everything that has made America a free and unique country. Lying idiots.

    • I may be a bit hostile today… sorry. LOL

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