Chicken Little and Henny Penny

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Originally published in Boston in 1840, the story of the chick who mistakenly thinks that the sky is falling when an acorn lands on her head has taken many forms over the years. However, it remains an analogy of people who react with hysteria and fear without having all the facts.

Chicken Little (also known as Henny Penny) rushes around telling the other animals that the sky is falling, the sky is falling! Disaster is imminent! Cocky Lockey, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosey, Gander Pander, and Turkey Lurkey all react with fear and rush about in panic, ending up in the lair of Foxy Loxy, who has nefarious plans for them (tastes like chicken). Versions vary, but in our preferred endings, Chicken Little is able to narrowly escape, explain the problems to the King, and disaster is averted for all. And, one presumes, Chicken Little was a little more careful in her reactions from that point. 

As with many children’s stories, the story of Henny Penny/Chicken Little has some great life applications for all of us about the implications of our actions and reactions on the lives of others in our community. Careful fact-checking can have great impact. For Henny Penny and her friends, not only was the sky NOT falling, but what actually fell was a tasty and nutritious treat. Hmmm. Sounds like… the issue of Urban Hens in Billings.

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