As you all know by now Presidential Press Secretary Sarah Shuck-n-Jive Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Va., last week.
While others twisted and shouted about The Diss Heard ‘Round the Potomac—the restaurant’s owner calmly explained to Sanders she didn’t cotton to liars–I couldn’t stop thinking about the literary little red hen.
I must’ve read the beloved children’s story a hundred times back when the Princess was too young to know that, one day, she would grow up and work for newspapers or, as Sarah Huckabee Sanders calls them, “Satan’s postcards.”
You know the story, I’m sure. The Red Hen finds a grain of wheat on the ground and asks those who are of a different species around the barnyard to help her plant it so they can all have bread someday. Duck says he’s busy. Ditto Goose. Cat is like “have we met?” and pig delivers a tart “not I!”
The Red Hen gets all pissy about the lazy barnyard animals and how entitled they are acting. Fast forward to the part where she harvests the wheat, bakes a loaf of bread and sashays around the barnyard teasing them with its tantalizing smell.
We’re talking Olive Garden breadsticks here y’all.
“Gimme!” they say in unison, but the Red Hen, unlike, say, a compassionate, generous Blue Hen who understands we aren’t perfect and should err on the side of mercy particularly when dealing with the hungry, says “Naaaah.” See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.
She has brought them to their knees, or whatever ducks and geese have where knees would be. Their regret seems sincere. They are sorry. They will help next time. In the meantime, er, how about just a morsel?
The story ends with all the animals realizing they should have voted Democratic. No, wait. That’s not it. It ends with them all starving because the vengeful Red Hen thinks she’s all that.
The traditional moral of this story isn’t terrible. Of course, it would’ve been nice for duck, goose, etc. to pitch in. But isn’t Red Hen’s superiority dance just a bit hard to swallow? Not as hard to swallow as bread baked on a rock in the middle of a salmonella-infested barnyard but, well, pretty hard.
Chastened, the dispirited animals promise to do better—be best, if you will—and work harder in the future to earn whatever stale droppings might come their way.
But the smug red hen has them all deported, making sure the chicks are sent to a separate facility from their mamas.
Generations of wide-eyed youngsters have enjoyed the tale of the Little Red Hen and have pondered the moral, which is, of course: If you ever make a single selfish decision, you should pay for it by being starved to death by malevolent poultry.
I know. Not really. But in these times, really, honestly, all you can do is try to find the laughs where you can. And they’re getting as scarce as you-know-what’s teeth.