Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cluck, cluck indeed

The Little Red Hen had iconic status in my house as a child. My mother did not read aloud to us often, but I can clearly hear her voice reciting the hen's litany of requests: "Who will help me plant the wheat?" "Who will help me grind the flour?" "Who will help me bake the bread?"

Each time her so-called friends said "Not I," one by one.

Each time the hen said (at least in the version that plays in my head), "Then I will...[plan the wheat; grind the flour; bake the bread]. Cluck, cluck. And she did."

This simple story sums up my mother's world view: You have only yourself to rely on. Others will appear to steal the fruits of your labor if you aren't wary.

At the story's conclusion, the friends want some of the delicious-smelling bread. "Oh, no," says The Little Red Hen, "I will eat the bread. Cluck, cluck. And she did."

Cluck, cluck became short-hand in our family for "Fine! If you're not willing to help, then fuck you." Mom would ask for help cleaning strawberries. Neither my sister nor I would respond. Then mom would say, "Cluck, cluck" and we'd know we'd screwed up. For dessert that night she and dad would have shortcake and my sister and I would watch.

[where is this going, you ask. we're almost to the end]

I was therefore very cautious when I found a blogger who calls herself (and her blog) A Little Red Hen. But the subtitle was "peace, politics, yarnlife after 60." Intriguing.

I've followed her for many weeks now and can report I love the association. I don't know if her attraction to the Little Red Hen is grounded in the same philosophical camp as my mother. They seem to share a certain feistiness. Both are politically liberal and speak frankly. But the Little Red Hen owns vegan cookbooks and asks readers to share how they feel about routine testing for AIDS. Not my mother's style. Anyway, LRH will be joining my blogroll soon.

And for those of you who worry about getting older and falling out of touch with the world, check in with LRH's blogroll. One is the blog of an 85-year-old woman who talks about how foxy she looks in a photo. Another talks about the tatoos she and her daughters (and possibly soon her mother) share.

They are a fun crowd to keep company with and are cheering me considerably on this gray, rainy day.

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2 Comments:

Blogger cooler*doula said...

Great crowd indeed! Thanks for the introduction. Have spent the last hour laughing out loud, thinking hard and just being amazed at who's out there and all that they have to say.

New to the Blogosphere...
Alison

8:38 PM  
Anonymous naomi dagen bloom said...

what a terrific surprise! as a child of the 1930s, i heard the story. something spoke to me. last year when i was working on my blog, a friend wanted a reason. realized it was the promise of collaboration: i want to change the ending, have the animals work together to make the bread.

thanks for all your appreciation of my intentions, my elderblogging buddies. your post has started more thoughts and will blog about them soon. yours, naomi

9:35 AM  

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