Gathering Minds

Chicken Little For Grownups

In the children’s version of everyones favorite political fable, Chicken Little, struck on the head by a falling acorn, runs off to tell the king, collecting on the way an entourage of other animals. In the end they are lured into a fox’s den and eaten, victims of their own foolishness.1

In the more realistic adult version it is not themselves alone that the hysterics destroy. Chicken Little runs around screeching and squawking that the sky is falling. Other hens, infected by the hysteria, take up the refrain. Some, under the oak, are themselves hit by falling acorns. Within minutes the barnyard is filled with Chicken Littles running around in frantic circles cackling and squawking, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" They knock over their feeding trough and waterer and even break a hole in the fence through which some flee seeking to escape the threat. The noise is so overpowering, the hysteria so contagious, that few can hold out against it.

Nevertheless, a few of the hens take the trouble to look upward and find that the sky is not actually falling in spite of the passionate cries of the true believers. So they go on pecking and scratching for food. One or two even notice that only those under the oak tree get hit on the head. So they peck and scratch elsewhere.

But not for long. Soon the Chicken Littles realize that some of their neighbors are going about their business as though the sky were not falling. It doesn’t take the Chicken Little mind long to realize that any hen not afraid of the falling sky must be responsible for whatever dark forces are causing it to fall.

So the Chicken Littles attack their more observant brethren and peck them to death, leaving the barnyard a gory scene of bloody bits of flesh and bone and flying feathers. Those who have fled return to take their part in the purge. The acorns have all fallen from the oak by this time, so nobody now gets hit on the head. The Chicken Littles heave a collective sigh of relief and go back to clucking and scratching placidly, secure in the knowledge that they have averted disaster by their prompt action in identifying those responsible and eliminating them.

So intent are they on their self-congratulatory cackling that none notice the fox slipping in through the hole they’ve knocked in the fence.

CHICKEN LITTLE

One day as Chicken Little was walking in the woods an acorn fell on her head. "The sky is falling!" she said. "I must go and tell the King."

So she went along until she met Henny Penny. "Henny Penny, the sky is falling!" said Chicken Little.
"How do you know?" said Henny Penny.
"A piece of it fell upon my head," said Chicken Little.
"Then let us go and tell the King!" said Henny Penny.

So Henny Penny and Chicken Little went along until they met Goosey Poosey.
Goosey Poosey, the sky is falling!" said Henny Penny.
"How do you know?’ said Goosey Poosey.
"A piece of it fell upon my head," said Chicken Little.
"Then let us go and tell the King!" said Goosey Poosey.

So Goosey Poosey, Henny Penny and Chicken Little went along until they met Cocky Locky.
"Cock Locky, the sky is falling!" said Goosey Poosey.
"How do you know?" said Cocky Locky.
"A piece of it fell upon my head," said Chicken Little.
"Then let up go and tell the King!" said Cocky Locky.

So Cocky Locky, Goosey Poosey, Henny Penny, and Chicken Little went along until they met Turkey Lurkey.
"Turkey Lurkey, the sky is falling!", said Cocky Locky.
"How do you know?" said Turkey Lurkey.
"A piece of it fell upon my head," said Chicken Little.
"Then let us go and tell the King!" said Turkey Lurkey. So they went along until they met Foxy Woxy.
"Foxy Woxy, the sky is falling!", said Turkey Lurkey.
":Oh, is that so?" said sly Foxy Woxy.
"If the sky is falling, you’d better keep safe at my den, and I will tell the King"
So Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Goosey Poosey, Cocky Locky, and Turkey Lurkey followed Foxy Woxy into his den, where he ate them up, every one.

ref: Imaginary Reality (mainemarketplace.com/imag/)


  1. This article was posted to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology as part of a particular series.