[Adapted from the verse version, which is given here as an
Once upon a time there was a little Red
Hen, who lived on a farm all by herself.
An old Fox, crafty and sly, had a den in the
rocks, on a hill near her house. Many and
many a night this old Fox used to lie awake
and think to himself how good that little
Red Hen would taste if he could once get
her in his big kettle and boil her for dinner.
But he couldn't catch the little Red Hen,
because she was too wise for him. Every
time she went out to market she locked the
door of the house behind her, and as soon
as she came in again she locked the door
behind her and put the key in her apron
pocket, where she kept her scissors and a
At last the old Fox thought up a way
to catch the little Red Hen. Early in the
morning he said to his old mother, "Have
the kettle boiling when I come home to-
night, for I'll be bringing the little Red
Hen for supper." Then he took a big bag
and slung it over his shoulder, and walked
till he came to the little Red Hen's house.
The little Red Hen was just coming out of
her door to pick up a few sticks for kindling
wood. So the old Fox hid behind the wood-
pile, and as soon as she bent down to get a
stick, into the house he slipped, and scurried
behind the door.
In a minute the little Red Hen came
quickly in, and shut the door and locked
it. "I'm glad I'm safely in," she said.
Just as she said it, she turned round, and
there stood the ugly old Fox, with his big
bag over his shoulder. Whiff! how scared
the little Red Hen was! She dropped her
apronful of sticks, and flew up to the big
beam across the ceiling. There she perched,
and she said to the old Fox, down below,
"You may as well go home, for you can't
"Can't I, though!" said the Fox. And
what do you think he did? He stood on
the floor underneath the little Red Hen
and twirled round in a circle after his own
tail. And as he spun, and spun, and spun,
faster, and faster, and faster, the poor little
Red Hen got so dizzy watching him that
she couldn't hold on to the perch. She
dropped off, and the old Fox picked her up
and put her in his bag, slung the bag over
his shoulder, and started for home, where
the kettle was boiling.
He had a very long way to go, up hill,
and the little Red Hen was still so dizzy
that she didn't know where she was. But
when the dizziness began to go off, she
whisked her little scissors out of her apron
pocket, and snip! she cut a little hole in the
bag; then she poked her head out and saw
where she was, and as soon as they came
to a good spot she cut the hole bigger and
jumped out herself. There was a great big
stone lying there, and the little Red Hen
picked it up and put it in the bag as quick
as a wink. Then she ran as fast as she
could till she came to her own little farm-
house, and she went in and locked the door
with the big key.
The old Fox went on carrying the stone
and never knew the difference. My, but it
bumped him well! He was pretty tired
when he got home. But he was so pleased
to think of the supper he was going to have
that he did not mind that at all. As soon
as his mother opened the door he said, "Is
the kettle boiling?"
"Yes," said his mother; "have you got
the little Red Hen?"
"I have," said the old Fox. "When I
open the bag you hold the cover off the kettle
and I'll shake the bag so that the Hen
will fall in, and then you pop the cover on,
before she can jump out."
"All right," said his mean old mother;
and she stood close by the boiling kettle,
ready to put the cover on.
The Fox lifted the big, heavy bag up
till it was over the open kettle, and gave
it a shake. Splash! thump! splash! In
went the stone and out came the boiling
water, all over the old Fox and the old
And they were scalded to death.
But the little Red Hen lived happily ever
after, in her own little farmhouse.
THE STORY OF THE LITTLE RID HIN
 From Horace E. Scudder's Doings of the Bodley Family in
Town and Country (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.).
There was once't upon a time
A little small Rid Hin,
Off in the good ould country
Where yees ha' nivir bin.
Nice and quiet shure she was,
And nivir did any harrum;
She lived alane all be herself,
And worked upon her farrum.
There lived out o'er the hill,
In a great din o' rocks,
A crafty, shly, and wicked
Ould folly iv a Fox.
This rashkill iv a Fox,
He tuk it in his head
He'd have the little Rid Hin:
So, whin he wint to bed,
He laid awake and thaught
What a foine thing 'twad be
To fetch her home and bile her up
For his ould marm and he.
And so he thaught and thaught,
Until he grew so thin
That there was nothin' left of him
But jist his bones and shkin.
But the small Rid Hin was wise,
She always locked her door,
And in her pocket pit the key,
To keep the Fox out shure.
But at last there came a schame
Intil his wicked head,
And he tuk a great big bag
And to his mither said,--
"Now have the pot all bilin'
Agin the time I come;
We'll ate the small Rid Hin to-night,
For shure I'll bring her home."
And so away he wint
Wid the bag upon his back,
An' up the hill and through the woods
Saftly he made his track.
An' thin he came alang,
Craping as shtill's a mouse,
To where the little small Rid Hin
Lived in her shnug ould house.
An' out she comes hersel',
Jist as he got in sight,
To pick up shticks to make her fire:
"Aha!" says Fox, "all right.
"Begorra, now, I'll have yees
Widout much throuble more;"
An' in he shlips quite unbeknownst,
An' hides be'ind the door.
An' thin, a minute afther,
In comes the small Rid Hin,
An' shuts the door, and locks it, too,
An' thinks, "I'm safely in."
An' thin she tarns around
An' looks be'ind the door;
There shtands the Fox wid his big tail
Shpread out upon the floor.
Dear me! she was so schared
Wid such a wondrous sight,
She dropped her apronful of shticks,
An' flew up in a fright,
An' lighted on the bame
Across on top the room;
"Aha!" says she, "ye don't have me;
Ye may as well go home."
"Aha!" says Fox, "we'll see;
I'll bring yees down from that."
So out he marched upon the floor
Right under where she sat.
An' thin he whiruled around,
An' round an' round an' round,
Fashter an' fashter an' fashter,
Afther his tail on the ground.
Until the small Rid Hin
She got so dizzy, shure,
Wid lookin' at the Fox's tail,
She jist dropped on the floor.
An' Fox he whipped her up,
An' pit her in his bag,
An' off he started all alone,
Him and his little dag.
All day he tracked the wood
Up hill an' down again;
An' wid him, shmotherin' in the bag,
The little small Rid Hin.
Sorra a know she knowed
Awhere she was that day;
Says she, "I'm biled an' ate up, shure,
An' what'll be to pay?"
Thin she betho't hersel',
An' tuk her schissors out,
An' shnipped a big hole in the bag,
So she could look about.
An' 'fore ould Fox could think
She lept right out--she did,
An' thin picked up a great big shtone,
An' popped it in instid.
An' thin she rins off home,
Her outside door she locks;
Thinks she, "You see you don't have me,
You crafty, shly ould Fox."
An' Fox, he tugged away
Wid the great big hivy shtone,
Thimpin' his shoulders very bad
As he wint in alone.
An' whin he came in sight
O' his great din o' rocks,
Jist watchin' for him at the door
He shpied ould mither Fox.
"Have ye the pot a-bilin'?"
Says he to ould Fox thin;
"Shure an' it is, me child," says she;
"Have ye the small Rid Hin?"
"Yes, jist here in me bag,
As shure as I shtand here;
Open the lid till I pit her in:
Open it--niver fear."
So the rashkill cut the sthring,
An' hild the big bag over;
"Now when I shake it in," says he,
"Do ye pit on the cover."
"Yis, that I will;" an' thin
The shtone wint in wid a dash,
An' the pot oy bilin' wather
Came over them ker-splash.
An' schalted 'em both to death,
So they couldn't brathe no more;
An' the little small Rid Hin lived safe,
Jist where she lived before.