Ahh, take me back to the days of Little Golden Books.
Many children grew up on these books that all have an interesting tale, frequently borrowed from traditional stories told orally through the ages.
My personal favorite, or so my mother says, was "Tawny, Scrawny Lion."
Though I'm not exactly sure why.
The pictures are creepy and the lion is constantly scheming to eat the rabbits who keep him fed and entertained to make sure he's pacified and doesn't accomplish his goal (this might sound familiar to fans of television and fast food, e.g., America - yes, you).
But I'd like to talk about the book "Litte Red Hen."
Little Red Hen is a story about a chicken who finds some wheat seeds on the ground and decides to plant them.
No one wants to help her plant, water, harvest, grind into flour or make the bread.
But sure enough, when it comes time to eat the bread, the whole farm is on board. That old little red hen gives them a big fat no, and only shares the bread with her chicks.
The next time she finds seeds, everyone helps out and they all share the bread in the end.
The reason I bring this up is that the Murphy family embarked on a Thanksgiving adventure last week.
We set off on our first extended drive since, well, we became a family.
The wife and I have taken many long road trips, including Alabama for Northwest football games and a fun St. Patrick's day in Chicago to name a few.
But we haven't ventured more than a two or three hours from home since the boy was born almost six years ago.
The kids are usually pretty good in the car, but there was a strong overtone of trepidation as we decided to brave the unknown.
It was only an 8-hour trip to visit the wife's brother in Lawton, Oklahoma. It seemed totally doable, and fittingly, we were very thankful for the opportunity to see family we don't get to see often.
A portable DVD player kept the kids pacified for the most part, and besides me having the "if you don't quit, I will turn this car around right now" attitude, things went well.
*Side note: The wind really does come sweeping down the plains. It’s ridiculous, I thought Maryville was windy...
So back to the Little Red Hen.
I was more than proud at the way we all pitched in to make it a fun and memorable experience.
Most adults work very hard for the things they have.
The few that get and expect handouts are always right there to take “their share” of what you've earned.
Page 2 of 2 - And I'm not just talking about the poor, those that truly deserve a little help and are actually trying to do something for themselves.
According to the good old Internet, the story of the Little Red Hen is an old folk tale, and most accounts attribute the origin to Russia.
[Insert communist/socialist rant here - I don't have enough space to express my views on this subject with regards to our country]
The book, to me, really speaks to what can be accomplished when people work together and function as a group.
If you look at humanity at the most fundamental level, we have more in common than we have differences.
Our time here is blisteringly short. Shouldn't we make the best of it?
Why should it take seeing someone else enjoy the fruits of their labor before we realize that we have to pull our own weight?
I'm normally a pessimist and I point out the worst-possible scenario. But seeing how our family got together at the last minute and take a trip that we will cherish forever changed my perspective.
I'm done with the "Not I, said the pig" frame of mind. It'll be a struggle for certain.
Another thing I'm sure of is that when our family has their mind set on something, there is not a single thing on this Earth that can stop us. So look out world, I've become an optimist (not to be confused with other -ist's).
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org