19th June 2006

Dear Janine,

You may remember this story from your days as a little girl. If you haven’t already related it to Simon, do it now and see if he can figure out the lesson. Most children can figure it out. But somehow people seem to get dumber as they get older. Adults today will fall for anything! In all likelihood, Simon will be able to explain it to the adults. You, of course, know the moral. But if you have forgotten, ask Simon.

Once upon a time, in a land far away from the latest farm crisis and the avian pandemic of 2006, there was a happy farmyard with happy farm animals.

One day Chicken Little, the chicken; Henny Penny, the hen; Cocky Lockie, the rooster; Ducky Lucky, the duck; Drakey Lakey, the drake; Goosey Loosie, the goose; Gander Lander, the gander; and Turkey Lurkey, the turkey; were out in the sunshine enjoying a splendid day.

Chicken Little was scratching the ground under the spreading oak that stood in one corner of the farmyard.

Something hit Chicken Little on the head. “Thump!”

When he stopped seeing stars, Chicken Little felt the bump rising on his head. A voice hidden somewhere whispered, “The sky is falling.” Chicken Little was alarmed. He looked up. He could see how huge the sky was. He felt the bump rising on his noggin. Chicken Little rushed around the farmyard screaming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

Before Chicken Little had run around the farmyard even once, everyone was in a panic. Henny Penny, Cocky Lockie, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosie, Gander Lander, and Turkey Lurkey all ran around in circles screaming with Chicken Little, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

All of a sudden Foxy Loxy appeared in their midst. “The sky is falling!” Foxy Loxy screamed. “Follow me to my cave where we’ll all be safe!” He began to run towards the woods.

Without remembering that Foxy Loxy, the fox, had never been their friend, Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Lockie, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosie, Gander Lander, and Turkey Lurkey all ran after Foxy Loxy screaming, “The sky is falling!”

Once every one was safely inside the cave of Foxy Loxy, the door slammed shut and it was bolted tight. Safe!

As everyone knows, the sky never did fall. Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Lockie, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosie, Gander Lander, and Turkey Lurkey were never seen again. People noticed that Foxy Loxy seemed to have put on some weight.

What happened? What is the moral, Janine? What did Simon say? I’ll publish his answer!

- Morley

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The first time that I told this story to Simon, I thought he did not get it. Two days later, we were walking home from school and Simon told me, “Mom, the Fox was a bad man.” It took me a couple of minutes to connect..... Simon is smarter than me.

j9