The Hen and the Hawk

Here’s another fractured fable for you:

red-tailed-hawk

In a time long past that happens every day, there lived a hawk. This hawk perched on the highest tree branches, surveying all that he saw around him, all that was his prey. For the hawk had none above him, and all feared his shadow circling overhead.

The hawk’s favorite prey was chicken, and often he circled Farmer Brown’s chicken coop, waiting for a delicious hen to stray too far, and thus become his next meal.

One day, a fat, white hen heard a rumor about a box of corn on the other side of the filed.  She wandered too far from the other chickens, and the hawk swooped down, knocking the hen flat.

“Wait,” clucked the hen. “Don’t kill me!”

“Why should I spare you? You are a lowly chicken, and I live on the highest tree branches. You are beneath me. I am born to prey on you.”

“I…” stammered the fat, white hen, “I can help you. I can get you all the chickens you want. They’re stupid, lazy, and greedy, and I’ll trick them one by one. Just don’t kill me.”

The hawk was clever, and he realized that sparing this one hen meant that he’d feast for days. The hawk agreed that each day the hen would bring him one of her friends to feast upon. And if she didn’t, the hawk would eat the hen slowly and painfully.

The hen went back to the coop, happy that she had found a way to save her life, even at the cost of everyone else. “They are stupid, lazy, and greedy anyway,” she thought. “Not as important as me.”

chicken

Later that day, she went to her hen friend and said “Psst, there’s a whole bunch of corn on the edge of the field. You won’t have to scratch for worms to eat. Wanna come take it with me?”

“I don’t know,” said the other hen. “We should stay close by. There are hawks overhead.”

“Nonsense. Don’t be such a chicken,” said the fat hen. “I’m gonna go eat the corn and leave none for you.”

“Wait,” said the other hen. The thought of missing out on the corn was too much for her. Scratching for worms was hard work. “I’ll go too.”

And the two of them went to the other side of the field. The hawk saw this from the highest branch, and when the time was right, he swooped down and knocked the other hen flat.

“You tricked me,” said the other hen with her dying breath.

“It’s your own fault for being so stupid, lazy, and greedy, trying to get corn for free instead of scratching for worms.” said the fat hen.

And the fat hen returned to the coop, confident that she did the right thing. “That other hen was stupid, lazy, and greedy and got what was coming to her,” she thought, and she forgot that she tricked her friend because she was scared of the hawk.

So the next day, she went to her hen friend and said “Psst, there’s a whole loaf of bread on the edge of the field. You won’t have to scratch for worms to eat. Wanna come take it with me?”

“I don’t know,” said the other hen. “We should stay close by. There are hawks overhead.”

“Nonsense. Don’t be such a chicken,” said the fat hen. “I’m gonna go eat the bread and leave none for you.”

“Wait,” said the other hen. The thought of missing out on the bread was too much for her.  Scratching for worms was hard work. “I’ll go too.”

And the two of them went to the other side of the field. The hawk saw this from the highest branch, and when the time was right, he swooped down and knocked the other hen flat.

“You tricked me,” said the other hen with her dying breath.

“It’s your own fault for being so stupid, lazy, and greedy, trying to get bread for free instead of scratching for worms.” said the fat hen.

And the fat hen returned to the coop, confident that she did the right thing. “That other hen was stupid, lazy, and greedy and got what was coming to her,” she thought, and she forgot that it was because the fat hen was scared of the hawk.

And every day for 21 days the fat hen did this, first with corn, then bread, then oats, then millet, until every hen except her and one other was left. And every time she told herself that they deserved it for being so stupid, lazy, and greedy. And every time she forgot that she did it because she was scared of the hawk.

She tricked the last hen as well, this time with the promise of apple pie. And the hen followed her, for eating apple pie is easier and more delicious than scratching for worms. And the hawk watched from on high, and he swooped down and killed the last hen.

“You tricked me,” said the other hen with her dying breath.

“It’s your own fault for being so stupid, lazy, and greedy, trying to get apple pie for free instead of scratching for worms.” said the fat hen.

“Screw you,” said the dying hen, and the hawk killed her.

“It serves her right,” the fat hen said, the only hen left, for all the other hens she had sent to their death.

“I agree,” said the hawk after he finished his meal. Then he took to flight, and swooped down, knocking the fat hen flat.

“But why?” asked the fat hen, knowing that he death had come. “I did all that you asked so you wouldn’t kill me.”

“You foolish hen,” the hawk said. “I didn’t get to the highest tree branch by being the strongest or fastest. I got there by using cowardly chickens like you to do my work for me. You are not the first to betray others out of fear. You will not be the last.”

And the hawk killed the hen. He didn’t even bother to eat her, for he was already full. Instead, he flew back to his perch on the highest branches of the tree, and spied a new farm with a coop filled with plump, stupid, cowardly chickens.

Do you like these fractured fables and my other posts? Check out one of my novels! The Watchmage of Old New York is only 99 cents right now, in honor of the preorder sale for its sequel, Cold Iron. Pick up both tales of history merged with fantasy and mystery now! You won’t be disappointed…hopefully 😉

doge in space card redux

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