Outcomes Offered

■ Doing rather than wishing

■ Greater independence

■ Personal responsibility

Have you heard the story about the five little chickens? Well, once upon a time there were five little chickens who lived with Daddy Rooster and Mommy Hen. One morning the five little chickens woke up feeling hungry, like most of us do first thing in the morning or when we get home from school in the afternoon.

The first one said, "I'm starving. I wish someone would give me a big fat worm." He began to dream about the big fat worm, was longing to peck it up in his beak and feel it slithering into his stomach, as I guess you would ifyou were a hungry little chicken. Not quite what I would prefer for breakfast! What about you?

No matter how much the first little chicken wished someone would give him a big fat worm, however, no worm arrived and the hungrier he felt.

The second little chicken also felt hungry and, hearing her brother talk about a big fat worm, said, "I'm famished, too. I wish there was a big fat slug slithering along here in front of me right now." She looked at the ground in anticipation. She looked and looked . . . and grew even hungrier.

The third little chicken felt as hungry as his brother and sister. "Cheep, cheep," he called out, hoping someone would hear. "I wish the farmer would bring us a big bowl of those yummy chicken pellets that he sometimes delivers." With that thought in his head he stood watching the gate into the coop, hoping and hoping the farmer would appear . . . and feeling hungrier as he did.

"Or," said the fourth, joining in the wishes of her brothers and sister, "that the farmer's wife would bring out one of those big bowls of food scraps from last night's dinner, as she often does." Like her brother, she stood watching the gate into the coop, wishing and wishing for a big bowl of scraps . . . and growing hungrier.

All this talk about food had the fifth chicken feeling so ravenously hungry he thought he was going to faint. "What I wouldn't give for a big bowl of crunchy grain," he added. "I wish I had some wheat, oats, or barley." His eyes were fixed on the tin tray where the farmer sometimes spread some grain. He stared and stared at the tray, growing hungrier by the second.

Overhearing the five little chickens' wishes, Daddy Rooster called, "Come here." Gathering the five little chickens around him, he continued, "Have you noticed what Mommy Hen and I do when we are hungry? If you want breakfast, follow us out into the garden patch. There you can learn to scratch and peck for your own food like we do."

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