The Little Red hen

Published : 09/14/2018 09:43:57
Categories : , Contes adaptés aux 3 - 4 ans , Contes et histoires , Les contes classiques , Les contes revisités

The Little Red hen 

Free version of the tale by Byron Barton

©Les Elfes de Tialy / Illustrated by Alice de Page

Once upon a time, a little red hen lived happily in a barnyard, surrounded by the other farm animals, who were also her friends. 

One day, she was quietly pecking with her chicks when she found a few grains of wheat, and she thought she could grow them. 

She went to see the rooster:

-Would you help me plant these seeds? they would grow and we could make bread.

- Oh, Hen! Can’t you see I’m napping! It is bad for my health to wake me up like this. 

She went to find the pig:

- Would you help me plant these seeds? They would grow and we could make bread for the little ones 

- oh, no! Can’t you see I’m busy making milk for my piglets?

Then she went to the duck:

- Would you help me plant these seeds? they would grow and we could make bread 

- Oh, no! I simply don’t have time for this, I’m giving life lessons to my ducklings. 

©Les Elfes de Tialy / Illustrated by Alice de Page

So the hen did everything on her own. She ploughed the field, planted the seeds and waited for the wheat to grow. When the wheat was high and golden, she came back to her friends and asked them for their help with the harvest. 

She went to see the dog: 

- Could you help me cut these stalks of wheat I grew? We could make bread!

- Impossible! You see, I have to take my puppies for a walk!

She went to see the cow:

- Could you help me cut these stalks of wheat I grew? We could make bread!

- Can’t you see that it is impossible! I am teaching my calf to ruminate!

©Les Elfes de Tialy / Illustrated by Alice de Page

So the little hen did everything on her own. She picked a scythe and went to her field to harvest it. She had a good crop and picked up a lot of wheat. Now she had to grind the wheat to make flour. Again, she thought her friends would help. 

She went to see the donkey:

- Could you please help me carry this heavy bag of wheat to the mill? We could make good bread with this wheat!

- I am sorry! I cannot unfortunately, I have to teach my foal to walk well!

She went to see the sheep:

- Could you please help me carry this heavy bag of wheat to the mill? We could make good bread with this wheat!

- I am sorry! I cannot help you unfortunately, I promised my lamb to play leapfrog with him. 

So the little red hen, pulled and dragged the bag as best she could and she managed to take it to the mill. She came back really tired with a full bucket of flour. 

Still counting on her friends, the little red hen asked for their help to make bread. 

She went to see the cat:

- I have planted seeds, harvested the wheat and grinded it into flour. Now can you help me make bread? 

- You can’t be serious, I need to rest, soon my kittens will be born, and I need to be up and running! 

She went to see the rabbit:

- I have planted seeds, harvested the wheat and grinded it into flour. Now can you help me make bread? 

- You can’t be serious! I have to take care of my babies, I have a very large family!

Once again, the little red hen did all the work on her own. With the wheat, she made bread, she baked it, and when she took it out of the oven, it was well cooked and golden and this is the moment her friends chose to pay her a visit. 

The rooster said: « Ah! This was a lovely nap, I feel really hungry now! »

And the pig: « with all my piglets to feed, I am so hungry »

And the duck « My ducklings have learnt it all, they need to recover their strength! »

And the dog: « my puppies are done walking, they are so hungry! »

And the cow: « my calf has finished ruminating, he needs to eat again now »

And the donkey: « my foal has been learning to walk for a very long time, he is starving now »

And the sheep: « With all this playing, my little lambs are really tired and they are so hungry now »

And the cat: « I am all rested, I need to recover my strength to give birth to my kittens »

Then the little hen answered, very cross: « those who didn’t help cannot eat ». She turned her back on all these animals and ate all the bread with her 3 chicks. 

Petite poule rousse

©Les Elfes de Tialy / Illustrated by Alice de Page

I wanted to enrich this story to include many animals and let them give a very bad excuse. Kids, even the younger ones, will be thrilled to see barnyard animals who lie! If this text seems too complicated (esp. For kids under 3), you can change all the answers into « not me ». 

You can also make it easier by reducing the number of animals. 

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