If you have come here very sensibly looking for children's literature information, I have a book for you: The Little Red Hen, by Paul Galdone. Esme Raji Codell recommended seeking out Galdone's versions of folk tales, and our family likes this one very much."...[T]he little red hen had to do all the housework," and her lazy housemates don't help out. We are always tickled at the illustration of the dog lying in a hammock and dreaming of bones.
In news of our own backyard chickens, Fuzzy the Hen is having some constitutional problems. Chickens need free-speech protection, too. Ha. Just kidding. Not that kind of Constitution. She is a wee bit under the weather, and it has been hard to figure out what is wrong exactly. She molted (lost her feathers) a few weeks ago, and is still missing a tail. Aside from the fact that she looks oddly abbreviated, that is not the problem.
I actually took Fuzzy to the vet, where she panted dramatically and flapped her wings in the face of the startled receptionist, who was attempting to weigh her. "I'm dying I'm dying you are trying to kill me I just know it!" I am used to the wing-flapping; it's like being caught up in the wind caused by a helicopter. Those wings can stretch out pretty big.
I left the vet with a hole in my pocket. I expected that. I once owned a sweet cat who was both asthmatic and diabetic; I know about holes in the pocket. Practical people do not take a chicken who cost all of $5 to the vet. Whatever.
So I am now giving Fuzzy a dropper-ful of medicine once a day. She does not care for it. Unless the liquid drops onto the ground and looks like something else. Oh, I see a slug! Maybe a worm! Then she'll sample the concoction. She may need some minor surgery. Braver chicken owners than I often perform the surgery themselves. Even the stitches. However, I will make peace with a hole in the other pocket before I do that.
Fuzzy's coop-mate, Lovey, is looking better than ever. We compliment her on her hair-do every day. All it took to restore the coif to its former lustrous glory was a molt. Cross your fingers that Fuzzy returns to her lustrous glory soon, too.
The photo of the two chickens was taken last summer.