Tag Archives: childen’s books

Snuggles, Little Red Hen, and Politics

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by my sister’s house down the street. She visited my parents last weekend and brought back some old photos I wanted for my blogging efforts, along with a couple of real treasures: two books that were among my top favorites as a child. Each story has a moral, of course, and in retrospect, I see that the underlying agenda of each can be applied to current political propaganda.

Snuggles is the Democrat’s book. Looking through it almost sent chills down my spine. I can so vividly recall reading that book as a little girl, thinking the pictures were the funniest things I’d ever seen.

Snuggles reveals the consequences of unrestrained consumerism and greed. When Snuggles’ mom Tilly heads out for the store one day, she tells her daughter to “Be a good kitten, and don’t be greedy!” But Snuggles goes on a food binge, eating or buying cookies, catnip jam (definitely a liberal tome), eggs, muffins, and wheat cakes, plus drinking too many cups of lemonade and then hopping on a swing.

Of course she ends up with a terrible tummy ache. Her very, very wise daddy gives her medicine and puts her to bed with her (demonic-looking, see below if you don’t believe me ) dolls. When Tilly came home, Snuggles “looked hard at her mother. ‘I’ll never be a greedy kitten again!’ said Snuggles. And she never was.”









The second book resonates with Republican rhetoric. Little Red Hen is the story of an industrious chick who receives no help from her lazy barnyard neighbors the Cat, the Duck, and the Pig in procuring food. She finds some grains of wheat one day, and asks, “If we plant the wheat, we shall have more wheat to be ground into flour for bread. Who will help me plant the wheat?”

“Not I,” reply the Cat, Duck, and Pig. So Little Red Hen plants the wheat herself. She goes on to cut the wheat, separate it from the straw, thresh it, take it to the mill for grinding, and bake the bread. Each time, she asks for help, and every time, her neighbors say, “Not I.” So she does it all herself.

At last: “The bread is done. It’s light and sweet. Now, who will come and help me eat?” Suddenly Cat, Duck, and Pig are all too ready to help. “No! said Little Red Hen. My chicks and I will eat the bread. And they did eat it. They ate every bit.”

The virtues of self-reliance, made evident even to a child.

I think it’s a shame that these two equally valid moral values have been claimed by opposing parties. That’s my political observation as we head toward election day.



Filed under book chat