Saturday, June 29, 2013

But it happpened, didn't it?

June 30, 2013

Dear friends,

I have been thinking about the challenge to straight thinking that experience brings. I may understand subjectively that my experience is real without understanding that I may have a very misleading understanding of what my experience means.

I am including my revision of the children’s story of Chicken Little to illustrate my point: sometimes our struggle with living effectively arises not so much from our life experiences as such as from the meaning we have attached to those experiences.

Chicken Little

Chicken Little’s adventure began on an ordinary morning when in a quite ordinary way Chicken Little set out to find a fat bug for his breakfast. It was a splendid morning. Chicken Little was feeling quite pleased with himself and the world until—as it often does—pain came unexpectedly in a way that Chicken Little found difficult to account for.

This is what happened. Chicken Little bent over to catch an exceptionally fine bug he had spied in the grass. At that very instant—POW—something hit Chicken Little on the head. This startled Chicken Little, of course, and made him jump. What was worse, it made his head hurt. Chicken Little became very cross. He looked around to see who had hit him, but there was no one in sight. All that Chicken Little could see was the sky.

“Ah, ha,” said Chicken Little to himself, “I know what has happened to me. A piece of that sky fell down and hit me on the head. That is what happened.”

Then as Chicken Little talked to himself about that piece of the sky falling on his head, he began to feel quite frightened.

“A piece of the sky came down and hit me on the head,” said Chicken Little to himself. “This is very terrible. The sky is falling. I must go at once and tell the other animals. The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!” And off he went.

Chicken Little soon met Henny Penny. “The sky is falling!” Chicken Little told her, “I know because a piece fell down and hit me on the head!!”

“This is dreadful!!” said Henny Penny. “We should tell Ducky Lucky at once.” So they ran as fast as they could and found Ducky Lucky catching bugs down by the pond.

“The sky is falling!!” Chicken Little said, “I know because a piece hit me on the head!!”

“This is frightening!!” said Ducky Lucky. “Let’s go tell Goosey Poosey at once!!”

So the three of them ran as fast as they could and found Goosey Poosey eating grass at the edge of the garden.

“The sky is falling!!” said Chicken Little. “I know because a piece hit me on the head.”

“This is shocking news!!” said Goosey Poosey. “We should go at once and tell Molly the Cow.”

The four of them ran a fast as they could and found Molly the Cow resting under the shade of a tree chewing her cud.

The sky is falling!!” said Chicken Little. “I know because a piece hit me on the head.”

“This changes everything,” said Molly the Cow. “We must tell Henry the Horse the sky is falling. Perhaps he can think what the animals should do.”

They went as quickly as they could and found Henry the Horse. Henry was looking over the fence, watching the road, and swishing his tail to chase away the flies.

“The sky is falling!!” said Chicken Little. “I know because a piece hit me on the head.”

“This is an emergency!!” said Henry the Horse. “We must go at once to the forest and ask the Lion King what the animals should do.”

As the animals started toward the forest, many other animals joined them.

Soon a long procession of animals who believed his story followed Chicken Little to the home of the Lion King to tell him the terrible news.

After he had listened to Chicken Little’s story, the Lion King proposed that they all go back to look at this place where the sky had fallen on Chicken Little’s head. Led by the Lion King (who was wise and powerful and had a great deal of common sense as well) the animals returned to the scene where something had hit Chicken Little on the head and frightened him and made his head hurt.

All of them searched and searched but no one could find a piece of fallen sky.

The Lion King, however, found a very large walnut lying in the grass.


Thinking with you that comingling experience and meaning is a challenging process.

See you next week.


PS: I am thinking of making a book in the style of Chicken Little that I'll call Children's Stories for Adults.  What do you think?


  1. I think that book would be a great thing, Gay.

  2. I agree. How fun would that be! Diane Nevins