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Once upon a time there was a chicken farm; and on this farm lived a disgruntled chicken named Drumstick Kate. She was quite upset. “Why should I lay eggs?” she cackled. “Why can’t I have the rooster’s job? All he has to do is puff himself out and cock-a-doodle-doo.”
Drumstick Kate hated stupidity. It angered her that the other hens laid eggs. “What’s the matter with these bird brains?” she clucked. “Don’t they realize how unfair the system is?”
Drumstick Kate was the angriest chicken in the universe. One might say that she was so rich in anger that she wanted to share her wealth. One day, at feeding time, as the hens gathered to peck their fill, Kate began to cackle in her angry way. She noted how horrible it was to lay eggs, how demeaning and humiliating it felt to squeeze out a big white one.
The other hens were caught off-guard. These were new thoughts, strange and amazing. It didn’t always feel so good, they admitted, when a big white one was coming out. And even worse, as Drumstick Kate told it, there was the slavery of sitting on those eggs until the farmer came to snatch them up. Or worse yet, if the eggs should hatch there was further trouble (as chicks were such a nuisance).
The hens listened to Kate, and cackled an approving reply. With this encouragement, Kate began to expound on the advantages of the rooster. “He sits on top of the henhouse and draws attention to himself while we are ignored,” she said. “This fowl arrangement is not fair.”
“This fowl is not fair,” echoed the hens as they rushed toward the rooster and pecked him into a bloody mass of feathered pulp.
Far off in the distance a weasel and fox were watching through binoculars. They realized that the hens were agitated. “It is time to go under the wire,” said the weasel. “Let us wait until nightfall,” advised the fox.
The hens were quite content, having liberated themselves from the loud and obnoxious rooster. Drumstick Kate had successfully taught the chickens to hate their previous activities. “No more eggs!” became the battle cry of the hens. “We’re not going to squeeze out big white ones, are we girls?”
The hens all cackled their approving reply.
Nightfall came and the hens retired to their respective nests. Around 11 p.m. the two wily predators arrived near the chicken-wire fence. “You go first,” said the fox to the weasel. “By no means, dear friend, I wouldn’t dream of taking your place,” the weasel replied. The fox noted how hungry they both were, and pointed out that the one who went first would take the biggest chicken. This persuaded the weasel to slip under the wire without delay. A few seconds later a muffled squawk was heard as the weasel emerged with a plump chicken in his mouth. No attempt was made to fight off the weasel as the rooster was dead, and no alarm was sounded. Seeing there was no danger of being cut by a sharp rooster’s beak, the wary fox went under the wire and emerged with a plump hen of his own. Soon the two happy predators were feasting.
In the morning the chicken farmer came upon the scene of his mangled rooster. He also found that two of his best birds were gone and no eggs had been laid. Something was terribly wrong. Regrettably, this pattern persisted for a second and a third night.
Meanwhile, the hens were enjoying their new liberated state. Drumstick Kate would make angry speeches against the system and the other chickens would cackle their applause. One day, however, Chicken Little came from the other side of the yard, having overheard a conversation between the chicken farmer and a local grocer. “They are going to lower the boom,” warned Chicken Little.
Drumstick Kate mocked Chicken Little for saying that “the sky is falling.”
“Nothing could be more cockamamie,” the hens cackled. As it happened, a few days later, a refrigerator truck pulled up to the yard. A stoop-shouldered little man emerged with a chopping block and other implements of horror. Soon enough, all the chickens were beheaded and plucked. Some were fried, others were roasted and a few were boiled.
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