She got to be friends with a lazy college grad up to his pierced earholes in student loans whose tent was to the left of hers; a strung-out homeless person, who preferred living in the park instead of the men’s shelter and had plunked a brand-new sleeping bag he got from the Comfort Working Group on the right side of her tent; and a schizophrenic who refused to take his medicine and kept the Little Red Hen and everyone else up all night as he walked through the encampment screaming something incoherent about blood-sucking leeches.
The Little Red Hen wanted to grow some organic wheat on a small patch of unoccupied park land and asked which of her new-found friends would help her plant the seeds. “Not I,” said the lazy college student, who went back to playing Farmville on Facebook using Wi-Fi donated by The Free Network Foundation. “Not I,” said the strung-out homeless person who wasn’t sure why the park was so crowded all of a sudden but gained seven pounds from the free vittles that were being doled out morning, noon and night. The schizo started screaming, which Little Red Hen took to mean, “Not I.” So she said, “then I will,” and planted the organic wheat by herself.
Thanks to an abundant supply of
human excrement fertilizer in the park, in no time at all the Little Red Hen had a crop of organic wheat that needed to be harvested. She asked which of her friends would help her. “Not I,” said the lazy college student as he took a drag on a free cigarette that had been shipped to the encampment from North Carolina. “Not I,” said the strung-out homeless person who was busy drinking a Forty from a paper bag with some of his Skid Row buddies who had also made their way to Zuccotti Park. The schizo started screaming again, which Little Red Hen took to mean, “Not I.” So she said, “then I will,” and harvested the organic wheat by herself.
Someone had donated a hand-cranked mill, and The Little Red Hen needed help grinding the organic wheat into flour. She asked which of her friends would help. “Not I,” said the lazy college student, who reminded her that his part in the movement was to bang a drum, which kept him quite busy except for the occasional Farmville and cigarette break. “Not I,” said the strung-out homeless person who didn’t want to lose out on the lucrative panhandling opportunity provided by the hordes of gawking tourists who had put Zuccotti Park on their must-see itineraries. The Little Red Hen had a headache from all the drumming and decided not to ask the schizo, so as not to give him an excuse to scream incoherently for the next four hours. So she said, “then I will,” and milled the organic wheat by herself.
Now, the Little Red Hen was ready to make her bread dough with the organic flour, plus some organic butter, free range eggs, spring water and yeast that had been donated to the protesters by a farmer’s co-op in the Woodstock area. She asked her friends – well, two of them, anyway; she decided to avoid the schizo after he pulled a knife on someone who was sick and tired of his incessant screaming and had tried to evict him from the park – if they would help her knead the dough. “Not I,” said the lazy college student, who had just gotten tested for STDs and was on his way to an “activist training” class. “Not I,” said the strung-out homeless person, who had worn out his welcome with the kitchen staff and was heading back to the soup kitchen he used to get his meals at.
Fortunately, the Little Red Hen knew how to bake bread without an oven – a skill that came in handy when the FDNY confiscated the encampment’s generators and biodiesel fuel supply for safety reasons. When all the freshly baked loaves had come out of her Dutch oven pot, the Little Red Hen asked her which of her friends would eat the bread. “I will!,” said the lazy college student. “I will!,” said the strung-out homeless person. (No one knew where the schizo had wandered off to by that point.) The Little Red Hen flipped the freeloaders the bird and informed them that she would eat the bread all by herself.
But as it happened, a group of very hungry tourists who were unable to get into any restaurants in the area because of police barricades, offered the Little Red Hen $100 per loaf and quickly bought out her entire inventory. One of the tourists happened to own a restaurant and was looking for a bread supplier, and when he tasted the Little Red Hen’s handiwork he offered to go into business with her to start a bakery in Phoenix – where people have been known to line up around the block to buy real Italian bread from a real Italian who emigrated from Back East.
The Little Red Hen used the money she earned from her bread to buy an airline ticket, get an apartment and start a new life as a self-sufficient, productive adult who owned a profitable business that made homesick East Coast transplants in Phoenix very happy.