The Little Red Hen

Author: Paul Galdone
Plot Summary: The industrious little red hen lives in a house with the lazy cat, mouse, and dog. While the hen does her various chores and farming, she regularly asks “Who will help me…?” to be met with “Not I!” answers from her housemates. After planting, tending, and harvesting wheat all by herself, the little red hen bakes a cake and devours it herself in front of the other animals. This prompts them to start helping with chores.
Posted In: Ethics

Discussion Questions
  • Why are the other animals refusing to do any work?
  • Should the other animals be helping the hen with house work?
  • Does everyone in a household need to contribute the same amount to getting work done?
  • Should the hen do all the work the others refuse to do, or should she also refuse?
  • Is it fair that the hen wouldn’t share the cake? Might it be fair for her to eat the whole cake, but not very kind to do so?
  • Can an action be fair and also unkind?
  • Does the hen actually ask the others to help or does she try use guilt to try to motivate them?
  • Is there one person in your home who does most of the work? Who? Why do you think that person ends up doing most of the work around the house?