The story of The Little Red Hen is a classic tale with an important moral. It tells the tale of a hardworking red hen and some lazy farm animals. Through these animals, the story teaches lessons about working hard, helping others, staying active, and the importance of earning.
The story starts off introducing the characters: the Little Red Hen, a pig, a cat, and a rat. The little red hen is a very hard worker, and does her work cheerily and without complaint. The other three animals are the opposite though. They are all lazy, and spend their days eating, in the case of the pig, sleeping, in the case of the cat, or spying and causing trouble, in the case of the rat.
Little Red Hen finds some seeds on the ground. However, when she asks each of the three other farm animals if they would like to help her find out what kind of seeds they are, they all answer, “Not I.” And so the little red hen moves on and gets help from the farmer. She finds out they are wheat seeds, so she decides to plant them. Again, she asks for help from the pig, cat, and rat. But they each reply, “Not I.”
The Little Red Hen goes on to harvest the wheat, thresh it, turn it into flour at the mill, and make the bread, each time stopping to ask help from the other animals. But their reply is always the same, “Not I.”
At last the loaf of fresh bread is finished. Little Red Hen pulls it out and heads towards the pig, cat, and rat. She decides to ask the animals one more question…who will help her eat the bread? Each animal eagerly answers in turn, “I will!” However, she tells them that only those who have helped along the way will get bread. She asks who has helped to make it, and, once again, each animal answers “Not I.” And of course, since none of them helped out, only the little red hen gets any bread, and for her hard work, she gets to eat the whole loaf all by herself.
The pig, cat, and rat all realize that it’s only with hard work that they will earn rewards such as the freshly baked bread. They go to bed hungry this time, but have learned a valuable lesson they will probably not soon forget, and they promise to share the work, as well as the rewards, equally with Little Red Hen.