At last the great moment arrived. The unmistakable, delicious odor of fresh-baked bread wafted on the autumn breeze. Everywhere the barnyard citizens sniffed the air with delight.
The Little Red Hen ambled in her picketty-pecketty way toward the source of all this excitement.
She did not know whether the bread would be fit to eat, but—joy of joys!—when the lovely brown loaves came out of the oven, they were done to perfection.
Although the Little Red Hen appeared to be perfectly calm, in reality she could only with difficulty restrain an impulse to dance and sing. Then, probably because she had acquired the habit, the Red Hen called: “Who will help to eat the Bread?”
All the animals in the barnyard were watching hungrily and smacking their lips in anticipation, and:
The Pig squealed, “I will!”
The Cat purred, “I will!”
The Rat squeaked, “I will!”
But the Little Red Hen said, “Oh no, you won’t! You would not share in any of the work to make this wonderful bread. You will not eat even a single crumb. My chicks and I will eat all the bread ourselves.”
And they did.