Henny Penny

I love serendipity.  My serendipitous story is this: I was picking photos the other day to stimulate haiku and I picked out this photo I took in Vermont last year.  We went to a farm where they made cheese at the top of this long lane…and there were these chickens, and I had fun taking photos.  So, I brought this photo up on my computer, as well as a few others, and then I left to go to Second Sunday at the Goggleworks, a wonderful community of artists and cultural organizations.  One of the main exhibits presenting was titled, The Big Draw, and featured full-sized drawings as art.  One of the featured pieces was drawings of hens with lines from the tale of Henny Penny.  I wish I could acknowledge the artist, because it was one of my favorite pieces in the collection, but I don’t know who it was.  So I returned home to write, and still had this photo on my computer, and it all came together, photo, piece of art, Henny Penny…hmmmm, how fun.

Perhaps you don’t know the tale of Henny Penny, I didn’t really either.  All that I was ever familiar with is the off-shut idiom, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”  It is an age-old folk tale about a hen and her followings.  I have included the tale below for your reading – for those of you who have a few minutes.  I hope for all of us, that today is a day of courage and little worry.

One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard when–whack!–something hit her upon the head. “Goodness gracious me!” said Henny-penny; “the sky’s a-going to fall; I must go and tell the king.”

So she went along and she went along and she went along till she met Cocky-locky. “Where are you going, Henny-penny?” says Cocky-locky.“Oh! I’m going to tell the king the sky’s a-falling,” says Henny-penny. “May I come with you?” says Cocky-locky. “Certainly,” says Henny-penny. So Henny-penny and Cocky-locky went to tell-the king the sky was falling.

They went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Ducky-daddles. “Where are you going to, Henny-penny and Cocky-locky?” says Ducky-daddles. “Oh! we’re going to tell the king the sky’s a-falling,” said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. “May I come with you?” says Ducky-daddles. “Certainly,” said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Goosey-poosey, “Where are you going to, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles?” said Goosey-poosey. “Oh! we’re going to tell the king the sky’s a-falling,” said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles. “May I come with you,” said Goosey-poosey.“Certainly,” said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles and Goosey-poosey went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Turkey-lurkey. “Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?” says Turkey-lurkey. “Oh! we’re going to tell the king the sky’s a-falling,” said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles and Goosey-poosey. “May I come with you? Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles and Goosey-poosey?” said Turkey-lurkey. “Why, certainly, Turkey-lurkey,” said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Foxy-woxy, and Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey: “Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey?” And Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey said to Foxy-woxy: “We’re going to tell the king the sky’s a-falling.” “Oh! but this is not the way to the king, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey,” says Foxy-woxy; “I know the proper way; shall I show it you?” “Why certainly, Foxy-woxy,” said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling. So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they came to a narrow and dark hole. Now this was the door of Foxy-woxy’s cave. But Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey: “This is the short way to the king’s palace you’ll soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you come after, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey.”“Why of course, certainly, without doubt, why not?” said Henny-Penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey.

So Foxy-woxy went into his cave, and he didn’t go very far but turned round to wait for Henny-Penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey. So at last at first Turkey-lurkey went through the dark hole into the cave. He hadn’t got far when “Hrumph,” Foxy-woxy snapped off Turkey-lurkey’s head and threw his body over his left shoulder. Then Goosey-poosey went in, and “Hrumph,” off went her head and Goosey-poosey was thrown beside Turkey-lurkey. Then Ducky-daddles waddled down, and “Hrumph,” snapped Foxy-woxy, and Ducky-daddles’ head was off and Ducky-daddles was thrown alongside Turkey- lurkey and Goosey-poosey. Then Cocky-locky strutted down into the cave and he hadn’t gone far when “Snap, Hrumph!” went Foxy-woxy and Cocky-locky was thrown alongside of Turkey-lurkey, Goosey-poosey and Ducky-daddles.

But Foxy-woxy had made two bites at Cocky-locky, and when the first snap only hurt Cocky-locky, but didn’t kill him, he called out to Henny-penny. So she turned tail and ran back home, so she never told the king the sky was a-falling.

An English Fairytale, by Joseph Jacobs

I post with appreciation to: http://www.authorama.com/english-fairy-tales-23.html

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