Little Bitty's aunt once gave her a book called The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.
As I recall, the old school version has the hen running after the other farm inhabitants in search of some assistance with harvesting wheat and grinding it into flour to make a loaf of bread. In this updated version (retold by Philemon Sturgis and illustrated with cunning cut-paper collages by Amy Walrod), our chick has moved to the city and has a hankering for a pie with the works. But her urban friends are no more helpful than the ones down on the farm.
“Hello,” she said. “Who’ll run to the store and get me some flour?”
"Not I," said the duck.
"Not I," said the cat.
"Not I," said the dog.
Little Bitty was appalled and deeply offended by the idea that the other animals kept refusing to help the hen. But I told her there were some good lessons in this book.
First, that hen wasn’t stymied when nobody came to her aid. She went out and bought her own pizza pan, then went back to buy the flour, the cheese, the toppings. She made her pizza dough from scratch, topped it with everything she wanted on it (including olives, onions andanchovies) and baked her own damn pizza.
On top of it all, when the savory pie was done, she was kind enough to share it with the deadbeats anyway. And smart enough to put her feet up and read a magazine while they did the dishes. (Yes, they finally got the picture, to Little Bitty’s relief.) And she did it all in some very hip shoes.
All in all, I’d say this Little Red Hen is a very Plan B type of chick.
It was an old story I’d long forgotten, but one I was glad to share with my little girl. I hope she won’t forget those lessons. I hope I won’t either.